Working sustainably isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business. That lesson was re-iterated for us on our third stop of the Creative Animal Tour in Sarasota, Florida at Willis Smith Construction.
This open house location threw some people for a loop at first, however, our goal is to shine a spotlight on people, places, and organizations who are fine examples of how to live, work, and play – more sustainably. Willis Smith Construction is doing just that.
We had the opportunity to meet one of Willis Smith’s high-ups while we were in the Keys this January. The company is working full blast on Mote Marine Laboratory’s new research station on Summerland Key (rated to survive category-5 hurricanes, which is no small feat). We were impressed when he told us about their track record of building LEED certified buildings. But we knew we had to show them off when we found out that they put their money where their mouth was and built their company headquarters as an experiment in sustainable construction.
Upon completion, the building received a high gold ranking by USGBC, otherwise known as the U.S. Green Building Council. Their LEED Certification process (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rates the environmental sustainability of a given building based on its’ materials, water and energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality. To learn more about what goes into LEED Certification, check out this website: http://www.usgbc.org/leed
A few weeks later, we were pulling into Sarasota with the Tiny House in tow and preparing for an open house at the Willis Smith Headquarters. We had over 300 people from all walks of life tour the house. From construction professionals, city council members, and even the local media came out and enjoyed a tour of the house as well as food and drinks from half a dozen local vendors.
In the meantime, Tim was able to step away to tour the building, fly the drone, and do an interview with the company CEO, David Sessions. He was able to explain what went into the construction of the building in an in-depth and practical way.