McCownGordon Construction, Kansas City, Mo., has applied the green principles it follows for many of its building projects to one of its job-site trailers. The Green Trailer recently received an eco-friendly makeover that will ensure it consumes a fraction of the energy of a typical construction-site trailer while providing a more pleasant user experience. “It seemed fitting to apply the same green thinking to a job trailer as we do to our building projects,” says Kenneth Bonin, McCownGordon Construction’s senior superintendent.

Myriad green features are incorporated into the trailer. Solar and wind power provide nearly all the trailer’s required energy. A composting toilet does not use any water, and the recycled and salvaged products that were specified were diverted from landfills. The trailer is estimated to save $3,000 annually in energy costs and 1,600 gallons (6057 L) of water. If all the approximately 1,250 construction trailers in the Kansas City area were green, it would equate to an annual savings of $3.8 million in energy costs and 2 million gallons (7.6 million L) of water.

  • Credit: Photo Courtesy of McCownGordon Construction

“It is extremely valuable to see companies step up and take innovative and creative steps forward. Having a green trailer on a job site will provide a subtle yet powerful reminder of the commitment to green,” says Casey Cassius, a principal of Kansas City, Mo.-based BNIM Architects, who is working with McCownGordon Construction on the K-12 school for Greensburg, Kan., which was devastated by a tornado in May 2007. (To learn more about Greensburg’s initiative to rebuild the town as a model green community, see page 42 of eco-structure’s January/February issue.)

With three times the amount of natural light, clean air from solar-powered exhaust fans and climate control from spray insulation, the trailer is a better place to work. “Not only will McCownGordon be saving energy and other valuable resources, but they are providing significantly better accommodations for their project field staff,” says Neal Angrisano, Johnson County, Mo., deputy director of facilities management.