The Gulf Coast Technology Council, a division of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, honored White-Spunner Construction, Inc. with the INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR award. President Mike Fitzgerald accepted the award on behalf of the company. As printed in the Mobile Area Chamber Of Commerce Business View Magazine: While green building practices have become very popular in the northern and western United States, they are just now catching on in the South. White-Spunner Construction, the Mobile Area Chamber and the Gulf Coast Technology Council’s 2007 Innovator of the Year, is leading this trend locally by building its new 40,000- square-foot office. It is the first commercial building in Mobile under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines, a national standard for high performance, sustainable buildings. This means every aspect of the building’s construction, operation and maintenance focuses on reducing its impact on human health and the environment during its complete life cycle. For instance, White-Spunner is reducing the impact on landfills by recycling 50 percent of its construction debris. All of the building materials have some type of recycled content, and all lumber is harvested from certified forests in an environmentally friendly way. Building materials come from within a 250-mile radius of Mobile to reduce the impact on traffic and shipping. Energy and water efficiency rate high on the LEED scale as well. By using highly efficient systems, White-Spunner will decrease its energy usage by 21 percent and water usage by 30 percent. These figures alone more than make up for the average 5 percent increase in construction costs of a green building versus a traditional building. “Building green is a different approach and, while our office is being built at a premium, we certainly hope it will catch on in this community,” said White-Spunner President Mike Fitzgerald. “The green approach improves our quality of life by offering tremendous energy savings, improving air quality and conserving water.” According to the 2007 Smart Market Report Greening of Corporate America, “Green building will reach a tipping point in 2009, with 82 percent of companies greening at least 16 percent of their portfolios.” Bayne Bridges, 2007 president of the Gulf Coast Technology Council, said, “With everyone becoming more aware and concerned with global warming, it is great to see White-Spunner Construction taking a leadership role with the construction of their new energy-efficient green building practices.”