Archive April 2012

Levine College of Health Sciences Pursues Silver LEED Certification

Levine College of Health Sciences Pursues Silver LEED Certification

Levine College of Health SciencesThe Levine College of Health Sciences building at Wingate University, which has received high praise from students and pharmacy experts alike, may receive another accolade this summer. Wingate is expected to apply for Silver LEED certification for the building.

The Levine College of Health Sciences building contains many features complying with LEED’s lofty standards. Nearly 90 percent of the building’s waste was recycled, and 30 percent of its construction was done with recycled materials. The project helped cut down on emissions, as more than 44 percent of materials were extracted and manufactured locally. The building also features a significant amount of FSC-certified wood, and includes advanced indoor air quality through specified HVAC safeguards and tactics.

“We are very proud that this building is under consideration for Silver LEED certification,” said CM Black President Emmitt Black. “That speaks highly of Wingate’s commitment to green building, and shows the energy-saving capability that a building can have.”

The Levine College of Health Sciences building is not the only project CM Black has completed for Wingate. The building is the continuation of a 14-year relationship with the University, which now includes the construction of a 305-student dormitory on Wingate’s campus, expected to be completed this summer.

“We would recommend CM Black for any project,” Wingate President Dr. Jerry McGee recently said. “They can handle any job, no matter how sophisticated it might be.”

Changes Coming to LEED Certification in 2012

Changes Coming to LEED Certification in 2012

USGBCLEED Certification continues to grow in popularity, but commercial construction builders who undertake new projects in the near future will likely face significant changes in how buildings are graded.

The U.S. Green Building Council is reviewing all LEED certification standards, and has developed an initial list of expected changes. Those changes cover interior design, building design and existing buildings, among other changes, and those changes are expected to be finalized by the fall.

LEED certification system changes happen every two years, and that’s why it is important for commercial construction companies to stay ahead of those developments. Justin Black, project manager for CM Black, said the continually evolving LEED certification process is something that every company must monitor.

“Green building continues to grow, and you have to know exactly what is required to meet those standards,” Black said. “As the LEED rating system evolves, builders must stay on top of those changes, and have a true understanding of how each LEED process affects the end result of a sustainable building.”

Green building slowed a little for new buildings in 2011, with only a 3 percent rise from 2010. However, LEED certified construction of existing buildings, known as LEED-EBOM, jumped 18 percent in 2010. Those projects actually accounted for more construction than new LEED projects for the first time in 2011, and that trend may continue in 2012.

Does your company know how much material needs to be recycled, or what kind of materials to use in both new and existing buildings? Changes to the LEED certification system could result in differing scores for buildings. This article details many of the changes currently being discussed, including changes to water efficiency requirements, a new walk-able street credit, and heat island reduction credit.

Perhaps the most important development in LEED certification in 2012 is that building owners must recertify every five years, to make sure they are staying current with energy saving techniques.


“LEED certification is an ever-changing landscape,” Justin Black said. “We look forward to seeing the finalized ratings system for 2012, and beginning the process of implementing that for our future projects.”

10 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Next Commercial Construction Project

10 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Next Commercial Construction Project

construction management1. What are your basics?

Have a plan prepared with the basics of the project. What are your needs? How much can you spend? How much time do you have? It’s important to be realistic in this phase so you are not surprised further down the road. Do your research and come up with three scenarios: “Best Case”, “Worst Case” and “Most Likely Case” for your budgets and timelines.

2. Who will be on your dream team?

Two heads are better than one, three heads better than two, and so on…to a certain point. Having too many people invested in one project can destroy it. Put together a team; decide who will be the point of contact for certain situations and who will be in charge of certain details. Before moving forward with your project, ensure that all stakeholders are in agreement on the details so far.

3. What are your limits?

Schedules and budgets are likely to change, but know where you need to draw the line. At what point will you have to scale back? Be realistic, and determine the absolute latest completion date and the maximum budget. Be flexible in changes up to those limit points, but stick to them.

4. What issues or needs can you expect?

What are the zoning restrictions that might apply to your project? What permits will you need to obtain before moving forward with the plans? What types of insurance will you need for the construction process? Is the construction going to affect your current business practices? This step can be tedious, but it’s better to know prior to construction if there will be any issues.

5. Who will be your general contractor?

In the past, it has been generally suggested that plans and budgets be sent to multiple contractors for bidding. However, in today’s environment, clients and their projects can greatly benefit by selecting a contractor at the front-end of a project. The right contractor can provide guidance and assistance in the development of concepts and budgets.  Personality matters. Make sure the contractor you hire is someone you feel comfortable with, trust, and communicate well with. A good working relationship can make a world of difference.

6. What are your expectations?

Sit down with your contractor, and make it known what your preferences are in everything from method of contact to how you expect certain situations to be handled. Find out what ancillary services your contractor offers. Can they obtain permits for you or do you need to handle them? How do they perform in the warranty period?  A contractor who is a able to provide multiple services can reduce the burdens of the owner.

7. What are your priorities?

Maybe you were set on having a 500 gallon aquarium in the lobby, but if it would mean cutting corners on essentials, it’s time to reprioritize. Make a list of absolute musts: starting with the things you literally cannot go without (permits, licenses, a floor…).  If you have to start making budget cuts, you’ll know what you can afford to lose and what you cannot.

8. How can you best use your resources?

You have a dream team and your perfect contractor, so take advantage of them. Does your contractor have recommendations for businesses to use in securing materials, licenses, etc.? Get their honest opinions on your plans and schedules. They have probably completed similar projects, and will be able to aid in determining certain items that may have longer lead or delivery times, which can impact the schedule.

9. What impact is your project going to have?

What impact could your project have on the local community? Once completed, how will the business affect the local community, economy, other businesses, etc.? You’ll want to keep these things in mind so you are well-prepared if the issues need to be addressed.

10. Have you covered all your bases?

It’s never too early to develop a good reputation. Use your research findings to determine if there will be people unhappy about your project. Address the issues head on, and be proactive. Reach out to the local media or city council and explain how your project will have a positive effect on the community. It might be useful to hire a PR professional for guidance in handling these issues.

Development Taking Off in Charlotte Region

Development Taking Off in Charlotte Region

Charlotte_NC_Skyline.33685659Recent statistics point to a 3 percent growth in construction in the Charlotte metro area from the beginning of 2011 to 2012, and many professionals believe that trend will continue. The Charlotte Observer reported that commercial construction is “improving,” and that the region’s outlook should continue to grow.

Developer Johnny Harris told the Observer that “things are getting better” and noted the rising number of building permits for non-residential construction in the past few months. One of the fastest growing major populations in the last 10 years, the Charlotte region continues to see a migration of newcomers each year.

Things are also picking up in Cabarrus County. Building permits have increased throughout the county, and new projects continue to begin throughout the area. New construction in Cabarrus County is an appealing alternative, due to the lack of available buildings in the county.

Concord Mayor Scott Padgett says he welcomes all new construction, and that the county is working hard to attract more commercial construction. “The construction of places like Carolina Courts downtown has sparked interest from investors and businesses wanting to capitalize on the large number of visitors that will be coming to campus clinics and league tournaments”. Additions to places like Wingate University are also encouraging tourism and growth.

Other economic indicators locally and nationally point to more construction.
Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 2008, and the stock market has hit its highest point since that time. Mayor Padgett explains that development must continue for the economy to maintain that course. “We have seen an increase in plan submittal and permitting for commercial development. Interest in industrial property has also increased in the past few months”.
The mayor also emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between costs and standards. Maintaining high quality development is a key to ensuring continued interest and growth.

Project Update: Hinds’ Feet Farm (Puddin’s Place)

“Puddin’s Place” is the latest phase in CM Black’s partnership with Hinds’ Feet Farm, an organization dedicated to serving individuals living with brain injuries. The state-of-the-art, 6-bed, family care home has been designed to handle the complex needs of its residents.


Currently in the late stages of construction, the home, which is entirely handicap accessible, will enable Hinds’ Feet Farm to expand their existing day program operations to accommodate individuals needing maximum assistance with every-day activities.

Check back soon for more updates on the progress of the project.