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In order to manage, you must measure

Green Building Practices (GBP) are a wise choice. Keeping materials out of landfills means fewer, unsightly landfills. Sustainable building materials may be easily replenished. Energy efficiency offers a direct, measurable payback.

At Lacy Construction, our GBP begin with managing the waste stream. When building demolition is involved, we start by researching the possible recycling or disposal options. Armstrong Corporation’s ceiling tile recycling program is one such option. Old ceiling tiles are reprocessed and combined with new material to produce…recycled ceiling tiles! We also take eligible items to centers that sell used materials.

Transporting salvaged materials to the recycling facility tends to be costly and time-consuming. But for certain materials, it is the only option to keep them out of the landfills. Sometimes we can re-purpose demolition waste, eliminating those transportation costs. We can remove concrete, crush it, and use the crushed concrete to replace road gravel, as a structural base for roads or concrete floors, or even as a component of a new concrete mix.

Carpeting made from recycled plastic bottles is an example of the new wave of green materials reducing landfill volume, while providing good quality at a competitive price.

Sustainable construction materials are those that can either be completely recycled (so that they can be reused forever) or raw materials that can be replenished indefinitely. For example, construction lumber is sustainable through re-planting trees. Bamboo, hard and fast growing, is a sustainable flooring product.

Heat pumps, solar power and wind power may be viable energy-conserving options. We recently completed our first “daylighting building,” utilizing sunlight as its primary means of lighting (traditional light fixtures are the secondary lighting source). While it’s becoming easier to see the value of GBP, our philosophy is to only recommend green products or methods that make sense for you. For example, if the lights are only on for a few hours per day, LED lighting would not be a wise choice due to the long payback period.

We have already completed 15 projects utilizing a type of construction known as Insulated Concrete Forming (ICF). ICF structures are highly energy efficient, extremely strong and very quiet. ICF construction costs are now very close to wood framing and may even be less costly, while producing a better building. 

When deciding to build “green,” there are many energy conscious ideas for you to consider. Be sure to do your research and work with a contractor that can help you make informed decisions and save money.

About the Author

Jerry Huismann
President, Lacy Construction, Grand Island, Neb.

Jerry joined Lacy Construction as a Project Superintendent in 1983. Since his tenure as President, Lacy Construction Company has experienced both consistent and significant annual growth.


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