MCAA unveils green contractor Website

BY ROBERT P. MADER Of CONTRACTORs staff MILWAUKEE Dave Kruse, president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, unveiled www.greencontractors.us, a new resource for contractors involved in green and sustainable construction and service. Kruse announced that the Website had gone live at the associations Green Opportunities Conference here. Kruse is president of L.J. Kruse Co., Berkeley,

BY ROBERT P. MADER Of CONTRACTOR’s staff

MILWAUKEE — Dave Kruse, president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, unveiled www.greencontractors.us, a new resource for contractors involved in green and sustainable construction and service. Kruse announced that the Website had gone live at the association’s Green Opportunities Conference here.

Kruse is president of L.J. Kruse Co., Berkeley, Calif.

The Website is a deep and through undertaking that could take hours to explore.

“If you are an MCAA, [Mechanical Service Contractors Association or Plumbing Contractors of America] member interested in the dynamic marketplace of green and sustainable construction, then you’ve come to the right place,” the Website says on the opening of its homepage. “This Website will serve the needs of those who design, build, renovate and maintain the mechanical systems of high performance buildings. In addition, we will provide resources on this site for contractors who are evolving our nation’s energy infrastructure toward clean technologies.”

The site states that it is structured around six basic questions, and then it provides plenty of answers. The six questions include:
● Why go green?
● Who are the people, companies and organizations shaping this new green mechanical world?
● What are green building and alternative energy project opportunities for the mechanical industry?
● How can your company become an industry-leading green contractor?
● Where is the green marketplace now?
● When will the green marketplace take off?

The site explains the LEED Rating System for high performance green buildings and the U.S. Green Building Council that implements it. One section will be a Project Portfolio featuring projects of contractor and manufacturer members. The association is encouraging its members to let it know about your projects so they can be added to the database.

A main feature of the Website is MCAA’s Contractors’ Guide to LEED — a mechanical construction-specific guide to the LEED for New Construction rating system developed by MCAA for its members.

Another new resource in this section is a greenWiki — an interactive feature that allows MCAA/MSCA/PCA members only to add and annotate articles on green-related topics, including their experiences with the LEED Rating System in practice. This section will also be home to the MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council members’ Product Showcase, which will alert members to new green products as they become available.

The home page has links to all of the presentations given at the recently concluded Green Opportunities Conference, allowing downloads of the speakers’ Powerpoint presentations. Presentations included Chuck Gaziano from McKenneys, Atlanta, on how to perform LEED-New Construction commissioning, Paul Von Paumgartten from Johnson Controls on the evolution of the green building market, and Matt Gregg, P.E., with McKinstry Co., Seattle, on what elements a contractor needs to put in place in its business to get into green contracting.

Another page on the site tells all about educational opportunities from MCAA, such as prep courses for the LEED accreditation exam and Green 101, a fourhour course taught by Tim Wentz, professor of construction management at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

A “how” page on the site contains MCAA’s “Contractor’s Guide to LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation Version 2.2.” The section has clickable links that explain how to get LEED points, such as water use reduction, innovative wastewater technologies, fundamental refrigerant management or on-site renewable energy. Clicking on the “water efficiency credit,” for example, pulls up a fivepage document on water-use reduction, what the intent is, requirements, potential technologies and strategies, and how contractors can go about winning this credit.

A page on the Website devoted to “where” shows a map and listing of current green building projects. A page on “when” explains the market drivers of green construction with more links to other data and research.

“The developing green mechanical construction market is a once in a generation opportunity — an opportunity for our industry to do well by doing good,” Kruse said in his message to his members on the site. “The benefits for the planet and for American energy independence are clear. ... Becoming a green contractor is a change in business strategy, and there are risks in learning to work in new ways. Through our association we can work to grow this marketplace without making costly mistakes.”