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LEEDing Questions with ESI Group USA

Posted on: August 21st, 2013 by aj No Comments
LEED Certification Randall Manufacturing InsulWall Insulated Curtain Wall
GREEN Building LEED Certification Randall Manufacturing InsulWall Insulated Curtain Walls


Timothy Nguyen, Regional Vice President

ESI Group USA  



What trends are you seeing in new facilities to incorporate GREEN material / construction?


Green material choices have moved mainstream.  In the past, a project team would take a conventional design and then look for areas to use alternative materials or improve efficiency.  Today, architects, engineers, and contractors are able to select and specify the green materials or equipment during the conceptual phase of the project.  There has been a paradigm shift and the baseline, conventional building is ‘greener.’

 The next component of this step-improvement is to right-size the facilities and to maximize the utilization of the space.  A facility that is 90% utilized is greener than one that is 40% utilized.  Our customers are realizing this and investing more in industrial engineering and space planning.

What is the greatest challenge your clients face in building GREEN?


There remains a tremendous amount of misinformation in the marketplace that a building owner needs to decipher.  There are two common examples: (1) Unrealistic energy models with aggressive payback analysis; and (2) Material vendors advertising that their products will result in LEED points.  These set an expectation that is not reality.

How do you and your firm stay current on GREEN product innovation?


The greatest resource we have found is the networking and interface between project participants and other professionals.  The industry as a whole is very open.  Owners, design professionals, consultants, construction managers, and specialty subcontractors, are quick to share their lessons learned from past projects.  This network is strengthened as more diversity is added to the teams, which happens as participants move from project to project. 

What GREEN companies or projects do you admire today?


As an engineer, I admire projects that develop unique ways to better utilize space and to maximize the use of available resources – basically doing more with less.  In our industry, this may include recovering waste heat from process loads to heat office spaces and water, or reclaiming water sources. Some of our clients, including United Natural Foods and US Foods are on the leading edge of these efforts and have made a significant commitment to be GREEN. 


ESI Group

ESI Group USA (ESI) is a national design build firm that specializes in facility design, engineering, construction, strategic logistics, and material handling planning services of facilities primarily relating to the food industry. 

Our specific food expertise includes cold storage, food distribution, process, and specialty food facilities. Our experience has also expanded to include automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), commercial, and industrial developments.



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