Green is the New Gold / by Nicole Frederick

“Going Green” in construction design and building has been growing at a pretty fast rate since the U.S. Green Building Council was founded in 1993. In 2015 alone, 40-48 percent of new non residential construction was projected to be green by the U.S. Green Building Council and 2016 shouldn’t be any different. [1] So what is green building you ask?? "Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.”[2]

Driving the growth of green building, no pun intended, are some strong factors including market demand, high-cost savings for business and tax payers, public health gains and federal, state and municipal mandates and policies. 

One way for new and existing buildings to make a difference and follow the popular “going green” trend is to design and install a green roof to their building. A green roof can offer many public, private, and design-based benefits. Green roofs improve air quality, energy efficiency, reduction of electromagnetic radiation, reduce noise, improve health and well-being, and much more. 

In March of 2010 Frederick Construction was able to join in on the “green” action with replacement of the existing vegetated roof at the Sault Sainte Marie Border Station.The Salut Sainte Marie Border Station has be open since 1924 with the creation of the Border Patrol. The Station’s primary area of responsibility is for approximately 420 miles of International Boundary between the United States and Canada and is located at the Northern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

This was a hefty scope of work for Frederick which included removal of the existing vegetated roof, installation of the drip irrigation system, and installation of the soil confinement and green roof system. This project presented many other challenges such as completing work during occupied hours, as the station is open 24/7, and replacing the sled roof at a height of approximately thirty to forty feet above the ground. Safety and fall protection measures were put in place and monitored on a constant basis. But when all was said and done Frederick was able to get the job done and make the world a little greener in the process.

Frederick Construction is an avid supporter of green building and believes in the strong impact it has on maintain the environment this and the high energy costs businesses and taxpayers save mostly always outweighs the cost of the initial cost of the build. This is usually the main concern many businesses have and why they are hesitant to spend to greenbuild because they believe it will cost them more but with new, innovate products and ways to go green the cost to greenbuild has dramatically decreased in the past decade and hopefully will become cheaper further down the road. This along with the marketing clout a business gets by being able to advertise they are helping the environment would almost seem to make the question of whether to build green or not almost a no brainer. “Green is the New Gold” in business building and marketing, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet it is time to hop on before you’re left behind.