“They’ve embraced the sustainability of the building and translated it into sustainable lifestyle habits,” says project architect Daniel Simons, AIA, who gained accreditation as a LEED provider (third-party verifier) during the project. “The ideals of the project are carrying on beyond the building itself.”

It’s a model that the entire project team hopes will inspire others to follow. During construction, in fact, CHC shared best practices among five projects it had in various stages of development at the same time, while the architect and general contractor have forged niches in the green space and PATH promotes the success of Folsom + Dore nationwide.

“This project is a powerful tool to convince people and clients that building affordable and green is possible,” says Simons. “It may be hard, but it’s not out of reach, and convincing people of that is critical to doing more projects like this.”

Rich Binsacca is a freelance writer in Boise, Idaho.

PROFILE:

Taylor Robinson

Project manager, cahill contractors

Credit: Sharon Risedorph

With a master’s in civil and environmental engineering and a past life in investment banking, Taylor Robinson may not seem like your typical builder. But she just might be the face of the next generation.

As the project manager on Folsom + Dore Apartments for Cahill Contractors, fresh off earning her advanced degree with a focus on green building (and specifically the LEED rating system), Robinson reinvigorated the client’s initial desire to gain LEED certification and spearheaded the effort during the last four months of production. “Taylor was the catalyst for getting us back on track [to meet LEED requirements],” says architect Daniel Simons, who was inspired by the process to gain LEED accredited professional standing. “She worked to find the dollars to afford the documentation, testing, and commissioning required,” as well as leveraging a contingency fund to help finance a photovoltaic system.

It also helped that the project was entering the finish phase of construction, leaving just enough leeway to modify the specifications to earn LEED credits and even regain a few. “It was far from ideal timing, but I assessed what they’d already done and thought we could make it,” says Robinson, who at the time was a founding member of the local USGBC’s emerging builder program, which gave her ready access to best practices.

Now working for a developer, Robinson has more control over making green a priority. “You have to talk about it early and often if you want to be successful at it,” she says. “Green building isn’t just one thing, but all of your decisions, your entire thought process, about what’s best.”