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GREEN SCENE: Gotta Go Green

New York
GREEN SCENE: Gotta Go Green
B.R. Fries CEO Barry Fries
Every type of client, from retail to education and healthcare, is thinking green, says Barry Fries, CEO of construction firm B.R. Fries. Over 40% of his projects now include some component. Not all are aiming for LEED, but they're using green elements while they figure out the most efficient way to eventually aim for certification, he notes. Retailers, for instance, are incorporating green floors, carpet, ceiling tiles, and spackling compounds. And if you're in the construction industry and not thinking green, you're going to go out of business, he warns. To maintain the firm's competitive edge, more of his staff are becoming LEED-accredited professionals as increases in such projects are expected.

Interior of The Gateway School of New York, 211 W. 61st St., New York, NY
One of his best-known projects, The Gateway School of New York, was one of the first schools to ever gain LEED-CI Silver certification through its expansion from an elementary to middle school. Its driving force was a better, healthier environment for faculty and students, he says. Features included new HVAC, mechanical systems, plumbing, lighting controls, low-VOC adhesives, bamboo flooring, and construction materials from within a 500-mile radius, he says. The building, located at 211 West 61st St., was constructed in conjunction with ABA Studio/Andrew Bartle Architects, Freeman Frazier & Associates, IP Group, Anastos Engineering, and Community Environmental Center.
Related Topics: Swapnil Adhe, CI Silver