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New Ideas in Sustainable Construction

Ten years ago it was a lot easier.  When someone mentioned the word "lead" you thought of being out front, setting the pace, showing the way.  One decade and a whole lot of debate later everyone's jockeying to be a leader when it comes to LEEDTake a look around, PE and AIA have been replaced by LEED AP® as the set of initials that you need to have on your business card.

In our case we got on board with the sustainability movement almost by accident.  In 2006 we were approached by an old friend at LCM (Lundquist Construction Management) about a new facility that they were planning in Applegate.  The design for the Oak Lodge was well underway and architect Siegel & Strain was about to introduce us to the world of straw bale construction.

Two years and a number of LEED APs later we partnered with Capital Partners Development and Japanese tool manufacturer Mori Seiki to deliver the first certified LEED Gold facility in Yolo County, one of a handful in California. From the outset, DTL (Digital Technology Laboratory) wanted a building with sustainable features and it seemed like LEED Certified would be a realistic goal. Once we dove in, we felt that we might be able to hit Silver or maybe even Gold.

"I remember one day we were having a staff meeting in the construction trailer and I said, "Hey, let's see if we can get this thing to Gold, how cool would that be?" and everyone jumped on board."  Robert Boucher, Project Manager

Here are some of DTL's key features:

  • 174 KW solar installation
  • Highly efficient HVAC system
  • Daylighting
  • Water efficient landscaping
  • Recycled materials
  • Low-emitting materials

Most recently we assumed the roles of both general contractor and LEED consultant as part of the design-build team for two tenant improvements for the State of California. Governor Scwarzenegger has mandated that State occupied buildings be LEED Silver or better. One of the key reasons that Ascent was chosen for this project was that failure to achieve Silver was not an option. As contractor and consultant we took total responsibility for the LEED process. 

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