People are beginning to wonder if the grass really is greener at Barnhart Inc., a Heery International company. The number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professionals (LEED APs) has grown to 40; a group comprised of senior vice presidents, project managers, supervisors, field engineers, estimators and superintendents. This is triple the number of LEED APs on staff less than one year ago.
The growing number is directly related to a corporate initiative to become a leader in understanding and implementing green building concepts.
"Back in 2004, we saw a trend toward the need for environmentally friendly building principals," said Brian Cahill, director of operations at Barnhart. "Clients began asking us for ways they could have a reduced impact on the environment and save money in the process. We also started seeing project owners requiring LEED certification on their buildings. These factors prompted us to take the necessary steps and enhance our ability to deliver LEED performance, which is rated and certified by U.S. Green Building Council. We wanted to recognize the needs of project owners and also remain competitive in the marketplace."
In 2008, Heery International was gearing up a similar initiative towards sustainability. It made perfect sense for Barnhart to combine efforts with parent company Heery to develop a program with the goal to become leaders in green building principles and targeted at increasing the number of LEED APs on staff.
Barnhart President Eric Stenman recalls meeting with Heery International CEO Jim Moynihan and President Bill Heitz on the importance of the initiative. "As builders, we understand the impact we have on the environment," Stenman said. "The LEED initiative was developed to step up our commitment to building in ways that are socially responsible and that have minimal negative impacts on our natural surroundings. It's not just a growing trend, it's the right thing to do."
The Barnhart-Heery LEED initiative encourages employees to pursue accreditation by providing training materials, certification fees and incentives to certain staff for successfully completing the process. By the end of 2009, Cahill estimates the number of LEED APs at Barnhart will climb to 50, adding to the 194 LEED APs currently employed by Heery offices nationwide.
"Combined, we are making great strides at reducing our footprint on the environment on a local and national level," Stenman said.
Barnhart Inc. has recently completed several LEED certified, LEED equivalent and Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPs) projects, including the 93,000-square-foot Lewis Library and Technology Center in Fontana, Calif. (LEED Silver); a five-level parking structure for San Diego Mesa College (LEED Silver); an 80,000-square-foot expansion to the UCSD Supercomputer Center in La Jolla (LEED Equivalent); and the seven-level UCSD Hopkins Parking Structure also in La Jolla (UC standards). Projects currently under construction that are being built to LEED Equivalent Standards include the 66,000-square-foot Bachelor Enlisted Quarters for Marines and sailors stationed in the Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton (LEED Gold Equivalent); and the 170,000-square-foot Weapons and Armament Technology Center at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, Calif. (LEED Silver Equivalent).
Submitted by Barnhart Inc.