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Gavin Gardi- The Christman Company takes LEED certification to the next level

Gavin Gardi talks with Kirk Heinze on WJR

Written by Kristin Jobin

Gavin Gardi, Sustainable Programs Manager at the Christman Company, talks to Kirk Heinze about the company's headquarters building in downtown Lansing gaining double platinum LEED certification and its future sustainable operations.

Gardi emphasizes that the journey to LEED certification does not require a costly upfront investment if smart design decisions are made. He thinks that it is important to take already established goals and add sustainability to the decision making process.

“If you use a real integrated design and construction process, you’re building in the sustainable features and making good design decisions,” says Gardi. “One of the things that we try to do in this building is show that you could build a very sustainable, historically-significant building at minimal additional cost.”

The Christman Headquarters is currently working toward its third platinum LEED certification that existing buildings can attain. This type of certification is gained by continually enhancing sustainability initiatives within operations and building maintenance.

“We’ve done things like all of our office supplies have recycled content in them now, the food we purchase from our caterers is fair trade, USDA, or bought locally. We have increased our energy efficiency by another 15 percent, so we’re saving an additional $50,000 a year,” Gardi says.

“One of the hallmarks of sustainable design is thinking about the long term impact from an environmental and cost point of view over the life of the building,” says Gardi. “So even if it ends up costing two-to-three hundred thousand dollars more for establishing a sustainable building, you’ll probably return that investment within the first three to five years and there after, financially, you’re doing wonderfully. You’re also reducing your carbon footprint and being less harsh to the world.

Click on the arrow above to hear Gardi’s August 20 Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Kirk HeinzeGreening of the Great Lakes airs Fridays at 7 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR.

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