Watts provides consulting services to assist our clients with the integration of sustainable design principles into their construction planning in a complementary and cost-effective manner while respecting budgetary and scheduling goals. We have extensive history in applying concepts of sustainability to many of our private and State projects. With the implementation in 2001 of New York State Executive Order 111, now superseded by New York State Executive Order 88, several of our State projects are LEED® certified.
Watts regularly works with clients who planning new buildings or are rehabilitating or renovating existing structures. We analyze interconnected issues such as site and building design, energy and water efficiency, building envelope, lighting and mechanical design, and indoor environmental quality to optimize sustainable elements for each project we undertake.
For example, features that might have higher individual initial costs (e.g., better windows, increased insulation, premium efficiency motors, etc.) may actually reduce building operating costs as other elements, such as the heating system, can be downsized while maintaining appropriate occupant comfort. Integrated sustainable design can take advantage of synergistic design elements as the building is evaluated holistically, and not as a collection of disparate elements.
Using the LEED® Rating System, developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), imparts a level assurance to building owners with regard to conformity to industry standards of sustainable design. LEED® is the best tool that the building industry has developed to eliminate "green-washing" of facilities.
Watts offers a competent staff comprised of nine LEED® accredited professionals, many of whom are also licensed architects or professional engineers. Watts also has on staff a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP). Watts carefully assembles project teams of professionals with the right mix of expertise, skills, and insight to respond to the specific needs of each project.
Watts has provided LEED® documentation for many projects including civil engineering project elements related to erosion and sediment control pre-requisites as part of the USGBC requirements. Our environmental group can assist with capturing Brownfield credits, while our mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) group regularly prepares credit templates to assist with the certification of buildings. Watts’ architectural group is qualified to lead the certification process, from the design charrette through construction processes. Watts has assisted with the certification process for numerous clients among which include the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, SUNY at Buffalo; and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Life Sciences Complex in Buffalo, NY.