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!

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.