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Owners and architects are typically the drivers of sustainable design, whether their goals are to achieve a certification like LEED or simply to ensure as little negative environmental impact as possible during the building’s lifecycle.
Contractors, too, are in a position to influence how green a project can be, both during construction and after completion. After all, it takes buy-in and ownership from all stakeholders to achieve a project’s green ambitions. With invested clients and the products and systems to do the job, contractors today can make more of an impact on sustainability than ever before.
The first step toward that objective is for the owner and design team to fully communicate the project’s sustainability goals to the contractor as early as possible in the bid phase, said Kristin Schuster, a project architect with SWBR, in Rochester, NY. From there, the contractor can help shepherd along — and even improve upon — those goals as it carries out its responsibilities.