We're not strangers to green building and sustainability here at Winkelman Building Corporation. From our earliest beginings to where we are now, appreciation and respect for the environment has always informed our actions. One of the avenues that's helped us get to where we are today is LEED.
Chances are you’ve heard about the “go green” movement. What you may or may not know is that “going green” and being sustainable is an opportunity within your construction projects too. Over the years green-designed construction projects have included churches, office buildings, schools and universities, maintenance buildings and production facilities.
The majority of these projects implement geothermal technology as a way to promote sustainability and green building. Today, I’m sharing 6 reasons geothermal technology is valuable in green building, but first, let’s answer the big question: What is geothermal technology?
Our education system is no stranger to doing less with more. Theories for improving educational environments are everywhere. They often provide great ideas for improvement, but theories can’t just be great – they need to be actionable. Otherwise, turning those ideas into solutions can create seemingly endless obstacles.
Just as curriculum and educational methodologies for students change over the years, so do the buildings in which they learn. Innovation in school construction and design trends continue to enhance the way educational projects are planned, designed, and built to sustain. Here are some of the trends in school construction.
Over the last decade, green building has transformed into a huge industry that continues to grow; yet still, there are many misconceptions associated with building green in the commercial sector. Some critics of sustainable building practices have wrinkled their nose at higher upfront costs for sustainable building materials and alternative energies; however, these energy solutions have dramatically reduced in price, making green building and practices not only preferable in terms of long-term cost-savings, but quite feasible right from the get go. Business owners that are looking for reliable ways to save money are turning their attention to green building and sustainable energy as a means to save money, while promoting a healthy environment.
Throughout our 45 year history, Winkelman Building Corporation has taken pride in our reputation of excellence in the design and construction of healthcare related facilities across Minnesota. Our familiarity and experience with the unique planning and phasing requirements of healthcare facilities allows us to maximize owner value by working closely with architects and engineers to ensure cost-effective construction and minimized risk to all parties involved.
America is facing an education crisis, but it’s not the one you are thinking about. Thousands of publicly funded elementary, middle and high school buildings around the country face a number of challenges in the coming years. Older buildings come with higher operating costs, and those challenges are often compounded by shrinking tax revenue and overcrowding.
In order for school districts to sustain growth and control operating costs, schools need to be built smarter in the future. St. Joseph, Minnesota is home to a shining example of smart engineering: Kennedy Community School. LEED Engineering was the driving force behind a construction project that gave this community a new Pre-K – 8 school that featured three times the space without increased operating costs.
Simply put, "Green Construction" is construction utilizing environmentally friendly materials and energy saving systems. They incorporate recycled materials that reduce landfill waste; energy systems that draw their power from renewable sources rather than oil, coal or gas and materials located in close proximity to the building site.
Why is everyone jumping on the "Green" bandwagon? Energy costs are skyrocketing; power companies are receiving mandates to increase their amount of energy produced through alternative systems; the general public is finding a new appreciation for an environmentally friendly planet; global warming concerns; governmental regulations and tax incentives.