DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 7, 2022) – PCL Construction ranks #11 on Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Green Contractor List, specifically ranking in the top five for three sectors – #4 in health care and #5 in both government offices and educational facilities. The rankings are compiled using a survey that positions contractors based on revenue from projects registered with or certified by a third-party organization that sets standards for measuring a building or facility’s environmental impact, energy efficiency or carbon footprint. In 2021, PCL generated more than $2.4 billion in green building revenue, nearly a 14% increase from the previous year.
“As the need to mitigate the impacts of climate change grows, and as communities experience more extreme weather events, the demand for zero-carbon buildings and resilient built environments continues to increase,” said Scott Beckman, director of sustainability for PCL. “Our presence on the Top Green Contractors list signals that PCL can help our clients meet their net zero goals by constructing leading-edge sustainable projects that improve energy efficiency, reduce embodied carbon and limit dependence on fossil fuels.”
Three major projects PCL won or worked on this past year that involved sustainable design include:
- University of San Diego Center for Coastal Studies involved renovating the lower two floors of the existing concrete structure and replacing the third floor with new wood-framed construction. The team increased capacity without expanding the footprint and reused the existing concrete structure resulting in significant embodied carbon savings. PCL also took advantage of the area’s climate by using passive systems: natural ventilation for cooling, brise soleil on the south and west facades to reduce heat gain and glare, and improved access to natural light. When new materials were required, we selected only those products that were compliant with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) standards and took extra measures to ensure that harmful chemicals did not leech onto the coastline. The space is now LEED Gold Certified.
- Shakes Solar project is currently one of the largest solar facilities PCL has constructed in the U.S. The 1,800-acre facility is owned and operated by Cypress Renewables and can generate a 270-megawatt direct current that is sent via a 138-kilovolt transmission line to a substation more than 16 miles away. From the substation, the energy is then used to power 36,000 homes in south Texas.
- Limberlost Place at George Brown College is a 10-story mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions building that will be the first institutional building of its kind in Ontario. Sustainable features will include: a thermally efficient prefabricated facade with optimized daylighting and natural ventilation systems designed to reduce reliance on the mechanical system; two solar chimneys to facilitate natural convection by drawing air from operable windows throughout the building; a sloped roof to accommodate the installation of photovoltaic panels; and a building core composed of structural steel with cross-laminated timber floor panels.
“We must build facilities that leverage innovative technology to reduce their carbon footprint, and we must also be good stewards of the earth during construction by transforming our equipment and methods,” said Beckman.
To accomplish this, PCL evaluates every step of a construction project to find opportunities to minimize the environmental impact. For example, PCL is pilot testing electric construction equipment and working toward converting to electric vehicles. Additionally, PCL is converting to LED lighting on job sites to significantly reduce carbon emissions which on one of PCL’s larger projects in Canada saved 235 tons of carbon emissions.
Construction waste is another important consideration. PCL works with project partners to set challenging waste diversion goals, often achieving a 90% or greater diversion rate on projects. PCL’s own offices have been built with sustainability in mind. For example, the company’s California office achieved LEED® Silver certification. Through sustainable design, the office reduced indoor water use by 44% and energy consumption by 47%.
About PCL Construction
PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in more than 30 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion USD, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Watch us build at www.pcl.com.