Artistic Builders Becomes Believers

Charles Plunkett is the President of Artistic Builders.  Plunkett’s firm is the general contractor responsible for the construction of the Full Goods Building at the old Pearl Brewery in San Antonio.  The high profile site is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) and the general contractor is impressed.“A great deal of effort and care goes into any energy-efficient, sustainable-design construction.  When a project goes beyond ordinary ‘green’ to actually seek LEED® certification, the degree of attentiveness and accountability increased dramatically.”Plunkett’s underlying message is clear.  Sustainable construction does not simply happen.  The LEED® rating system can help put the developer and contractor on track but the process requires great foresight, often melded into regional guidelines and represents an ongoing commitment.Plunkett added;  “The LEED® process involves not only strict performance and utilization of materials that meet USGBC standards, but also meticulous record keeping to evidence that such standards have been met.”The U.S. Green Building Council has learned that record keeping during and after the construction is critical to the overall success of the sustainable construction.  In a recent survey by the National Building Institute, the effect of LEED® sustainable efforts was difficult to track.  To assist building owners, developers and real estate companies track their green progress, the USGBC has released their state-of-the-art new LEED® v3 software.Projects that are currently registered for LEED® certification should upgrade after completion of the existing project.  For new projects looking to register for certification, LEED® v3 is the way to go.  LEED®E v3 not only facilitates the record keeping but eases and expedites the registration process.Many of the energy-efficient features of the Full Goods Building are exceptional.  Plunkett is an experienced green contractor but admits that the scope of the green commitment on this particular project has presented challenges.One of those compelling features is the installation of the largest solar energy system in the state.  The solar panel is designed to provide 200 kilowatts, or about one-third of the power necessary to fuel the building.  Plunkett is enthused by this green experience and hopes to take newfound techniques on to further green efforts.

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