[I am on vacation this week in Phoenix and then Kansas City so I bring you guest posts and interviews! I met each of the guest authors or interviewees somewhere along the way and asked them to contribute.
Ben Shultz works at Shultz Brothers Electric Company, an electrical contractor in Kansas City. I also went to high school with Ben and I beat him every year in fantasy football. So when he expressed interest in taking the LEED AP exam, I was intrigued. The following is an interview I did in June with Ben regarding green building. Hope you enjoy.]
1. Your company is an electrical subcontractor and you just became a LEED AP. How do you see green building and LEED certification impacting your business?
There are significant benefits in having a LEED AP electrical contractor involved in all phases of a construction project, but the greatest contributions would be on a design/build project and in the design and budgeting phases of a plan/spec project. In those specific situations our expertise, understanding and application of the LEED rating system into a construction project would be of significant value to all parties involved in a green building project. A few of our customers have already noticed this and have been reaching out to us for thoughts and ideas on upcoming green projects. We anticipate this trend to grow as we are confident that owners and general contractors will see the value in having a LEED AP electrical contractor on their project.
2. What’s the Kansas City construction market like these days? Are you seeing more green building projects?
Right now it’s a tough market; bid lists are long and projects are going for less than we’ve seen in the past. There is still plenty of good work, and we’re encouraged about what we see ahead, but there’s no question it has tightened up.
We have been seeing more green projects, which is encouraging to us because of the long term benefits of having a LEED AP as a resource. Since there is a small premium to pay for a green building, as the economy turns around we expect to see more in the future.
3. As a subcontractor, how would you manage guarantees of LEED certification made to the owner?
That would most likely be determined on a project by project basis. It would depend on our level of involvement and at what stages of the project, what is being asked and expected of us, and what we have committed. Since each trade contributes to certain LEED points, you could only be held accountable for those that you have an influence over and are identified as anticipated points. As there are multiple players involved at multiple stages of a project, this is a gray area that could be a potential issue if not identified and addressed early on.