I began the project of building Complexions Green after going to a business meeting with my sister in law in Florida in May of 2006. When I returned, I discussed my ideas with my brother Tony who is a structural engineer. He was interested with the concept and knew just who to contact. My father has also been in construction for more than 40 years and knew the challenge that lay ahead. I didn”t have a huge budget to work with so the thought of adding more to our costs was not what he wanted to hear. He was in the commercial side of construction and had a very good handle on the cost of construction. He managed very large commercial buildings like the Albany Airport.
My brother arranged for a meeting with SAIC and our architect. When I walked into that meeting and saw the number of people sitting around the table, interested in our project of building Complexion Spa Green, I immediately knew we were on to something very big. There were people from SAIC, NYSERDA, Taitem Engineering, Karpman Engineering, our architect’s office, my father, my brother, and myself. Our initial meeting consisted of them asking many questions about how Complexions was run and operated. We then went through a cheret where we evaluated the possibilities of the 5 different categories associated with LEED certification and what was entailed. We learned about the incentives available through NYSERDA’s Loan Fund and what we needed to do in order to achieve those incentives. That meeting took several meetings and my brother, father, and myself left there a bit over whelmed. Most companies who “go green” and attempt LEED certification have a team of engineers and architects who work together to accomplish this process. We gave it much thought, and with some resistance from my father, the numbers guy knowing this would blow our budget, we decided to move forward.
If I did not have a brother who was an engineer and a father with as much experience as he has managing construction projects and budgets, I would never have been able to complete this as a small business with a limited budget. The added costs of consultants, engineers and architects would have been cost prohibited. For this I am eternally grateful to my brother Tony, who handled most of the documentation and research as well as my father who managed the day to day operations of the construction to be sure the contractors where holding to the strict requirements of going green. This was very challenging because there are not many people well versed in what is required. Trust me when I tell you every detail had to be paid attention to. From the paint cans being used, the adhesives, the waste removal, the air quality during construction and more.
My next blog will be about how we managed this for the next 7 months of construction.