Professional Home and Commercial Construction Built Sustainably
In July of 2011, Quantum Construction launched Sustainably Built, its green building division. While the announcement made it official, Quantum already had 3 sustainable projects in progress and had previously built several, including new construction and remodels at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
We’re often asked why we launched a division for sustainable building. Our response often surprises people. Building green goes far beyond simple environmental stewardship. While pollution and resource management are clearly important, the idea of green extends to occupant comfort and health, business productivity and saving money. In short, sustainability is simply a smart way to build. Properly insulated, heated and ventilated buildings cost significantly less to operate, are pleasant to be in and avoid stale air issues. Steps taken for indoor air quality, including reduction of VOCs and allergens have been connected to significant health and respiratory benefits. Finally, steps that save energy and money, such as day lighting solutions and zonal climate control have been shown to increase employee productivity. If that’s not enough, sustainably built buildings have longer lives and less maintenance so that your investment keeps paying you back for years to come.
Customer Driven Approach
Sustainably Built approaches green building with the customer in mind first. We recognize that the values, tastes and budgets of our clients are widely varied, and we take pride in providing customized solutions to each. We begin each project with our minimum standards: well-constructed, affordable projects with intense attention to detail, quality materials and environmentally friendly building practices. This takes care of the basics, including water control and long building life. This is the baseline for all our construction, those intended to be green and otherwise.
Next, we sit down with our clients and use a Built Green checklist to pick options that are preferred by our clients. Options range from low flow fixtures to solar panels, with everything in between. Prices range dramatically too. Some options, including salvaged materials and omitting air conditioners will save our clients money. Others are comparable to typical options and some are true investments, such as ground source heat pumps, central vacuums and vegetated roofs, which have longer time frames for a return on your investment. Our goal is to create a home or commercial building that is friendly to occupants and their health, as well as friendly to our environment and natural resources.
When Quantum constructs certified projects, we typically recommend the nationally recognized Built Green Washington system. While there are many rating programs to choose from, we selected Built Green for its relevance to the Pacific Northwest, ease of use and cost. First, the Built Green system is administered by local builders’ associations, meaning that the environmental factors assessed are targeted as narrowly as the county level for the significance of their impact. Second, because the programs are centrally developed and locally administered, the requirements are easy to understand and strong support teams exist at a local level. Finally, the registration cost of the Built Green system is negligible, less than the cost of a new window or kitchen faucet.
Quantum is also an Energy Star Northwest Partner, an energy efficiency program that is heavily incorporated into the upper levels of Built Green. We recommend that our clients review the Energy Star program to see if its focus on low energy consumption fits with their building goals. We also have team members and a network of providers certified and familiar with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized certification program with tailored rating systems for New Construction (NC), Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB: O&M), Commercial Interiors (CI), Core & Shell (CS), Schools (SCH), Retail, Healthcare (HC), Homes, and Neighborhood Development (ND).
Are you interested in a sustainable new construction or remodeling project? We can point you in the right direction. A member of our Sustainably Built division will explain the process to you, supply a checklist and manual for you to work with and offer advice on the easiest, most environmentally effective steps and the most cost effective ones. We can also point you in the right direction for a qualified design consultant or architect. When you’re ready to build, we’ll help you navigate selection of the right materials and best subcontractors and suppliers for the job. You can get started today by dropping an email to Josh Baldwin.