Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Personal Sustainability: Create the Life You Want

So, you know that Breaking Ground Education Services has been a leader in providing sustainable education with regard to green building and construction. Now, we are expanding the sustainability spectrum with our new Your Personal Sustainability courses designed to focus on the most important resource of all...OURSELVES! The first course offering in the Your Personal Sustainability lineup is entitled, "Create the Life You Want."

Create the Life You Want is a mind and heart-opening series identifying what blocks you from your desired life, improving your mental capacity, enhancing your relationships and bringing more creativity to your plans and projects. The Create the Life You Want series is taught by Therese Tappouni, a licensed HeartMath Provider and Somatic Intuitive Training Practitioner. Participants will be guided through three, two-hour evening workshops over a 3-month period. Courses for both men and women are available.

Click here for course details and to register. Space is very limited! Keep an eye out for future courses in Your Personal Sustainability.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BGES Becomes Trainer for ABC of the Carolinas

Breaking Ground Contracting has been a long-time, dedicated member of the Associated Builders and Contractors organization, both in the Jacksonville First Coast Chapter and the Tampa Gulf Coast Chapter. In fact, Mary Tappouni serves as the current 2011-2012 Chair for the First Coast Chapter. BGES is proud that we have served a number of chapters as a provider of green, LEED and other educational offerings in the past, and now we are proud to be providing training to another chapter, ABC of the Carolinas.

Working closely with Tim Eldridge, VP of Workforce Development for the chapter, we have enjoyed providing quality LEED education to contractors in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. I even experienced the earthquake last month while teaching a class in Raleigh! Next up in November, we're headed to Charleston and back to Charlotte for a LEED Green Associate exam prep course. These courses are so important to our industry, and being able to provide educational opportunities to promote a strong understanding of LEED and green construction and design principles to contractors and subcontractors is an honor and pleasure. The feedback we get is very positive, and we look forward to more training with other ABC chapters.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Documenting Breaking Ground Green Roof

Breaking Ground Contracting has completed the design and installation of its cutting edge vegetated roof, part of a major building renovation on track for LEED Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The vision of president, Mary Tappouni, has finally come to fruition, and our green roof designer, Kevin Songer of MetroVerde, has been an amazing partner to us in this endeavor. Follow the progress on the Breaking Ground Green Roof blog at We are have been documenting the project from the start and we post almost daily about the plants and biodiversity that inhabit our rooftop. We're even showing our community how to grow vegetables on our rooftop garden! Join us for the conversation!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Green on the Roof, Green on the Walls....Nature Everywhere!

As part of Breaking Ground Contracting's corporate office remodel, a complete renovation project on track for LEED Platinum certification, we will be installing a green, or vegetated, roof. There is a lot of misinformation about green roofs, so suffice it to say that when you make the decision to move forward with this amazingly sustainable strategy, you had better do your homework! And we have. Our green roof is designed by a local green roof expert, Kevin Songer.

So, why have a green roof? There is a laundry list of benefits for a green roof design , including decreasing stormwater runoff, promoting habitat, growing food in urban environments and insulating the building. There are also ways of extending that green concept to vertical walls as well, providing some of the same benefits as a green roof, only going vertical!!

We are excited that the new roof on our corporate office will be sporting a 10kW photovoltaic (PV) solar system alongside our beautiful green roof. Keep checking back with us to see our progress. Our building, due to be re-occupied next month, will be promoted as a community educational tool, so we will be posting quite a bit of information and photos as we begin our move back to our home on Highway Avenue!

I have posted a link to Kevin Songer's blog site, which has a wealth of information on green roofs, vertical green, permaculture (growing food on the roof!) and many other sustainable concepts involving living things. Look closely and you'll see photos of the BGC remodel project! Take a visit!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Breaking Ground Presents at Greenbuild!

Mary Tappouni of Breaking Ground Contracting, Corie Baker of C Squared Design and Lisa Sheppard with the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department presented a fantastic session on historic green at the recent USGBC Greenbuild Conference in Chicago. The session proved to be extremely informative and was well-received by the attendees. The topic matter is really relevant in today's market not only because the housing market is driving more renovations, but because renovation with an emphasis on green and LEED is becoming more and more mainstream.

Mary, Corie and Lisa take renovating green one step further with the idea of renovating green on historic buildings. Lisa stated, "The greenest building is the one already built," a quote from Carl Elefante, which kicked off the presentation's focus on why to renovate, and more importantly, why renovate green. Corie presented information from the architectural standpoint on what makes historic buildings green, and Mary brought it home with the practical application and construction processes for the actual green and LEED renovation of an historic building.

Breaking Ground is so proud of Mary for being accepted as part of this panel for this coveted speaking engagement and for her seemingly effortless presentation of the material! Kudos to Corie for putting together the submission package! Great going make us all proud!!

Are We a Contractor or Educator?

The answer is....both! As Director of Education for Breaking Ground Education Services, a division of Breaking Ground Contracting, people often remark about how unconventional it is that a construction company also promotes education. Each time I hear these remarks, it becomes even MORE clear to me just how much sense it makes that a successful construction company like Breaking Ground Contracting blaze the trail of education in green, sustainable and LEED* building and workplace safety. After all, buildings use the greatest amount of energy...WAY more than our vehicles. So, it stands to reason that we do our part to enlighten the industry to environmentally sound ways of doing business. We don't just believe it, we live it! The foresight of President, Mary Tappouni, began many years ago with her passion for building, nature and the environment. Her vision drives her company, and those of us who have the privilege of working for Breaking Ground Contracting have been infected by her passion for green building and the desire to couple sound building practices with environmental responsibility. It is our mission to educate other contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors, developers and anyone else who wants to listen and learn, about the ways we can all do our part in building green for the future...the future of our industry, our children and our world.