Green or Greenback

May 12, 2011

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It's true that  roofing may not appear to be the most creative of professions, which is why we love it when we have an opportunity to work on custom designed residences and buildings. The Oakwood Residence in North Miami is one of those golden projects.   You may have seen the story on the news about the owner, Peter Broemer, who shipped in a giant Buddha/Quan Yin (14 foot, 22,000 lbs!) from China as a gift for his new wife, a practicing Buddhist, but there is so much more to talk about.  The architectural firm, Thibeaux Architecture has taken every effort to design this residence using sustainable architecture in harmony with the natural surrounding environment. They have made a serious commitment to respect the existing trees and plant life to the extent that the entire house was designed to fit under specific tree branches.  Absolutely no industrial heavy equipment is allowed on the site to disturb or ruin plants and vegetation. Clearly, quite a challenge for us contractors.

My favorite site photo!

Kiwi, a Border Terrier (Peter's sister Ruth and brother-in-law Joseph's dog)

The other day I was speaking with  the architect, Keith Popiel, and I could hear his passion and excitement about the project and its progression.  After our conversation I hung up the phone and immediately jumped online to visit the  Thibeaux website to see what's going on (they have an incredible photo journal documenting the project that you should check out) and I started to wonder how many companies in South Florida truly have a commitment to environmentally sustainable design and management measures?  We at Best Roofing  replace more and more roofs with "cool roofing systems" that are highly reflective, and we have the ability to install vegetative roofs and have actually installed a handful in South Florida (In my humble opinion I'd like to see more vegetative roofs in our urban areas, but that's a whole other post), so to get to my question- are most building/roofing/decisions based on cost alone?  Given the current economics everyone wants the most affordable option and sometimes that isn't always the most sustainable option.  Do South Florida companies have a sustainable vision that is aligned with their business goals?  The more advanced  a company's view of sustainability is requires a very clear strategy and changes everything from the way a company thinks to its processes and systems.   What's your view?