Building for a Better Future

Building for a Better Future

Procore set out to find the companies, projects and individuals that stood out for their bold achievements in construction. Among the 27 outstanding finalists selected, nine were named winners of the 2022 Groundbreaker Awards. This article is the seventh in a nine-part series spotlighting each winner. 

As a major contributor to global carbon emissions, construction has the opportunity to turn around statistics and build greener. Many organizations are making strides in sustainability and pursuing LEED, WELL and other such certifications on projects. One such company is Hathaway Dinwiddie, a San Francisco-based general contractor offering a multitude of sustainable building options to their clients on every project.

Since 1912, the firm has been putting customers first with dedication and expertise. Paired with technology, their innovative solutions have resulted in incredible projects, and as a result, they’ve won the 2022 Excellence in Sustainability Groundbreaker award. 

Dedicated to sustainability 

Hathaway Dinwiddie’s commitment to sustainability shows up in a big way on projects. They’re experienced with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED rating system, the Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Standard, Net Zero Energy, Fitwel Certifications and embodied carbon reduction strategies. The in-house MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) department provides design-assist services, while the preconstruction team offers embodied carbon analyses. From waste diversion tracking and a standard indoor air quality plan on jobsites to purchasing choices in the office, Hathaway Dinwiddie’s green practices are shown in big and small ways. 

Focused on “building a better future for the planet and its people,” Hathaway Dinwiddie has an impressive collection of sustainability experience, including 20 LEED Platinum Certified projects out of 88 total LEED Certified projects. Jessie Buckmaster, Director of Sustainability, leads the organization in their sustainability journey, analyzing current practices and researching new capabilities. 

“We can introduce strategies that go beyond the ability to pursue certifications,” shares Buckmaster. “We can help clients achieve and extend their corporate sustainability goals, tailoring the conversation to each project and group of stakeholders.”

Buckmaster’s recommendations have helped Hathaway Dinwiddie increase their sustainability capabilities and educate project teams, as well as clients. She regularly conducts in-house training sessions so all teams have a working knowledge of sustainability, ratings systems metrics, and providing one-on-one assistance with projects. In addition, she speaks at and attends industry conferences to share and obtain knowledge of the latest sustainability efforts and practices. 

Ushering in a sustainable future

Hathaway Dinwiddie’s sustainable practices have won numerous accolades. They’ve ranked #14 in the 2021 ENR Top Green National Contractors List and #5 in the Commercial Office Sector. They’ve also achieved many firsts, such as the first WELL for Core & Shell Certified Building in San Francisco, the first CLT building in San Francisco and the first Living Building in southern California. 

A national member of USGBC since 2002, Hathaway Dinwiddie has been committed to sustainable building since the beginning. Recently, they completed a project that fulfilled the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous of sustainability challenges—and finished on schedule and under budget. 

The City of Santa Monica City Services Building features edible landscaping, treated rainwater for drinking, radiant slabs for heating and cooling, chemical-free building materials and even the first composting foam-flush toilets in southern California. This building doesn’t import or export any water, waste or energy, fulfilling the requirements to be a “Living Building,” and is the greenest municipal building in the world.

“We’re extremely lucky to work with the clients we have on some really interesting and innovative projects,” says Buckmaster. “Many of our clients are focused on sustainability as well, and the variety of projects we do allows us to try new methods and stretch our strategies.”

Partnering for sustainable success

Hathaway Dinwiddie leverages technology to achieve and exceed certification requirements like LEED. Utilizing Procore, they created a custom inspection template that lists all the best management practices that are required. Project teams collect LEED product data during the submittal process with Procore for submission and review by the design team and sustainability consultant.

“Teams can go take pictures that automatically date and time stamp and attach it directly to what it’s representing,” says Buckmaster. “This allows us to easily submit for LEED documentation—it’s been such a helpful tool, and connects with the other integrations we have for certifications.”

Buckmaster helped standardize documentation processes to make it easier to track carbon emissions and calculate for LEED. Utilizing carbon emissions calculators and organizing the sustainable attributes of each project has been helpful in getting everyone on the same page with greener practices. In addition, this allows Hathaway Dinwiddie to accurately market their sustainable capabilities. 

Buckmaster offers other organizations this advice when starting their sustainability journey: 

“Start small — pick one thing to do really well and make it as efficient as possible. In the same way that everyone is responsible for safety, everyone is also responsible for sustainability. It must be woven into everything we do.”

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