Vol. 2, Issue 2  |   09.2008

"Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future."

It's clear that one of the most important factors in creating a sustainable future is the way we build. Green building approaches were considered a "fringe concept" as recently as a few years ago. Today, sustainability practices have become widely embraced by the global community — and by our clients, from public entities to multi-national private sector companies and real estate developers.

Enhancing your built environment with sustainable building practices delivers tremendous benefits at many levels.

At TAG, we believe that fully realizing these benefits requires a “lifecycle” perspective – one that integrates green considerations at each stage of the Building Potential process. With insight and effective planning, sustainable building concepts can enable your organization to meet its strategic and economic goals, while working in harmony with human and environmental factors.

— TAG International, LLP

Maximizing Your Green Building Potential®
A Practical Guide to Sustainable Development

step 1: Concept Planning and Strategy

It all begins with strategic thinking.

The foundation for maximizing your green building potential is a solid understanding of how sustainability concepts fit into the big picture. In other words, defining your optimal “shade of green” and identifying how best to integrate appropriate sustainability practices is where green building potential begins…

How do “green values” fit into your organization’s mission, vision and business model? How will sustainable building concepts help you achieve your strategies and goals? What impact will integrating green practices have on your daily operations? What are the associated “lifecycle” savings, over the lifespan of your facility? What “marketing value” can you realize by incorporating green?

Exploring these issues at the concept and planning stage will enable you to create a more comprehensive, well-conceived game plan that effectively balances your organization’s goals with the needs of your workforce, the local community, and global concerns. 

Industry Focus: Government Projects

Through our involvement in an array of public sector projects, TAG has seen a growing impetus among local governments and other public entities to embrace their responsibility to the community (both local and global) by taking a leadership role in defining and implementing sustainable development approaches.

By integrating green concepts into their own building projects, as well as establishing programs and guidelines designed to protect the environment and the community’s quality of life, local governments become an invaluable role model for businesses and their constituents.

Local governments can pro-actively encourage and nurture sustainable building by setting green building priorities, conducting outreach with building industry stakeholders, and providing financial incentives, educational materials, design tools and resource guides.

Project Spotlight

Department of Homeland Security & U.S. Customs Border Patrol, McAllen Texas

Working with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs, TAG International recently designed a state-of-the-art border patrol facility in McAllen, Texas – one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certified government facilities in the area.  

As part of the project’s design-build team, TAG created a project vision that successfully integrates the strength, dignity and stability of the U.S. Government – while reflecting the rich cultural of the Rio Grande Valley. The facility’s design incorporated green techniques specifically aimed at minimizing the impact of the extreme solar heat prevalent in the South Texas environment.

The project incorporated a wide variety of sustainable building concepts use of regionally available materials, as well as materials with recycled content and low VOC emissions. Other sustainable building practices include energy efficiency optimization, storm water management, water usage reduction, and HVAC systems using enhanced refrigerant management.

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