Site selection, communication throughout process are key to pursuing green building projects

John Hollenbach and Greg Oakley planned ahead when they developed Blankenbaker Station Business Park, creating an infrastructure that would earn companies multiple LEED points before they even broke ground.

The business park is designed with green spaces, integrated bicycle paths, sustainable water run-off systems and undisturbed natural areas, said Oakley, co-managing partner of Hollenbach-Oakley LLC, developer of the park.

These features enable potential clients to earn LEED points for factors such as site selection. “We’ve encouraged owners to consider LEED design,” Oakley said.

Hollenbach, co-managing partner of the firm, said LEED certification isn’t required for the park, but “we do promote it.”

Setting standards

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the premium standard for construction in the 21st century. It is a rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council that signifies building design and use of materials that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Stites & Harbison PLLC attorney Angela Stephens, who serves as secretary of the board of the Kentucky USGBC chapter, said the goal in seeking LEED certification is to obtain the most points possible.

Based on the points earned, a building can earn one of four LEED certifications: standard certification, silver, gold and platinum.

Six buildings at Blankenbaker Station are LEED-certified, and they are occupied by Charah Inc., Kelley Construction Inc., Eaton Corp., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, TraneCorp., and Harshaw Trane.

Joe Kelley, CEO and president of Kelley Construction Inc., said his company built its new 21,000-square-foot corporate headquarters to achieve LEED certification because he believes it’s the future trend in construction and it’s the environmentally responsible thing to do.

He said several of his company’s commercial clients inquire about going green with their own buildings.

“That’s almost always a question,” Kelley said. “We see that a lot. The questions are, ‘Does it cost more to go green? Do you think we should go green?’ ”

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