Brinkman Partners

Building Green - Sustainable Construction Practices

Date: Apr. 3rd, 2009
Contact: Lydia's Style Magazine - Angeline Grenz Phone: 000.000.0000 Ext. 0000

Harmony One at Preston Center

Brinkman Partners

The decision to use green practices when designing and constructing a building is often reflective of an overall philosophy. Brinkman Partners, a young company with a focused, energetic staff, serve as the developer and builder for many of their projects. This dual role gives them the ability to use the building standards that are representative of their philosophy and to hold on to their buildings long enough to truly realize the energy saving potential of a green built structure.

“We have made a concerted effort the last year and a half to move towards building sustainable projects,” according to Paul Brinkman President, Brinkman Partners. Brinkman began his company’s foray into building green with the LEED Accredited Professionals process. They now have twelve LEED certified staff members and brought on Ashley Haas, a LEED AP, to head up their sustainability efforts, both internally and externally.

In July 2007, Brinkman began construction on Harmony One at Preston Center, the commercial building that now houses their business offices. Brinkman developed the building in partnership with Everitt MacMillan Commercial, who also occupies space at Harmony One. The building is currently in the process of becoming LEED certified. The attractive five story office building features an efficient HVAC system, water efficient fixtures in the restrooms, and a water efficient landscape with native and adaptive plants. Haas estimates that the additional engineering it took to build a green commercial building added approximately 3 percent on to their final costs. “Generally those costs are earned back in energy savings within five to ten years,” says Haas.

Brinkman used low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials, Forced Stewardship Council woods, efficient light fixtures, and glazing on the windows to be more energy efficient inside the building. They recycled as much of their construction waste as possible, added fuel-efficient vehicle parking, and a shower facility/locker room in the basement to encourage employees to bike to work. To successfully develop a green building, according to Haas, “getting the contractor in early is the key to designing the building correctly and saving the client money.”

“We want this to be a healthier place for our tenants,” says Brinkman, “even though it did raise our project costs; we felt it was the responsible thing to do.” With the assistance of Haas, Brinkman Partners initiated their Gratis program, a group within the company that works to promote sustainability internally and to their clients. According to Brinkman, there are a growing number of companies, particularly governmental agencies, interested in retro-fitting or converting their older office buildings into green environments. Brinkman’s educated staff can consult with companies to help them find ways to make their buildings more environmentally friendly.

“You can’t force people, but you can create an environment that gets people excited about being green. Then it naturally becomes part of your day-to-day,” says Brinkman. Brinkman’s next project is a redevelopment project in Fort Collins. Brinkman will convert a building near Colorado State University into 47 student units with four retail units on the ground level. Brinkman will develop the building with an energy saving roof and windows, energy efficient water fixtures, and Energy Star rated appliances. Each unit will have its own energy meter, so tenants can see the direct impact of an energy efficient design on their utility bills.