LEED and D-B Big with Giants


In this year’s CSE Giants survey, one of the questions we asked participants is what sorts of “additional” services—beyond traditional M/E/P work—they’ve pondered or have already put to use. Sustainability and design-build services were two common answers.

Sustainability sustains

Over the past few years, a certain acronym has steadily become more prevalent in CSE articles—so prevalent, in fact, that it may someday become assumed: LEED. So it was no surprise that when asked about expanded offerings beyond traditional M/E/P work, more than 20% of our Giants respondents mentioned LEED or sustainable design.

Bala Consulting Engineers, Inc., King of Prussia, Penn., notes that the topic of sustainability is starting to come up more often in discussions with clients, as many owners are looking to gain LEED status. The firm currently provides LEED and enhanced commissioning for five projects and expects this number to increase. Fanning/Howey Assocs., Inc., Celina, Ohio, on the other hand, serves as an example of how LEED accreditation is becoming more prevalent at firms themselves, noting that many staff members are now LEED-accredited professionals.

Multiple Giants also report that desires for sustainability can also lead to opportunities to provide energy modeling/assessment services. Comprehensive energy assessments have been a focus of EMC Engineers, Inc., Lakewood, Colo., for nearly three decades, especially in new facilities gunning for LEED and ENERGY STAR status. The RMH Group, Inc., has experienced similar success with LEED and energy management. “We often recommend energy modeling services for sustainable projects,” says Jim Bradburn, P.E., a mechanical engineer and sustainable design specialist with RMH. “If clients


In today’s fast-track-happy construction market, design-build is yet another trend making some headway in the engineering world, although it’s more prevalent with full-service firms. A number of firms like Parsons Brinckerhoff, New York, note that they are increasingly working under alternative project delivery models such as D-B, as opposed to the traditional design-bid-build model.

According to Cathy Berry, CFO with JEK Engineering, Inc., Rolling Meadows, Ill., the D-B model puts her firm in the position to look out for clients, as she says there is no entity that is focused on protecting their interests. “We have positioned ourselves as owners’ advocates and our role is to ensure that our clients get the best bang for their buck in a design-build scenario,” she says.

Check out the upcoming August issue of CSE for complete Giants coverage.

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