Beyond the Build


New Standards

We are in the preconstruction phase for a new adaptive reuse project which involves converting an existing steel fabrication operation, about 80 years old, into a mixed-use facility with office, restaurant and entertainment. This week, our customer and I were talking about several current initiatives that I was not familiar with at the time. I thought these were worth sharing here:

ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance Criteria

Socially conscious investors often use the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards as a screening standard for company operations of potential investments. ESG considers stewardship of nature, relationship management in a variety of contexts and the responsibility of company leadership.

PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs 

This is a model for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on private property, both commercial and residential. PACE programs allow a property owner to finance the up-front cost of eligible improvements on a property and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment. The assessment is attached to the property rather than an individual.

WELL Certification 

WELL is a design strategy targeting indoor air quality across a building’s lifetime, which seems particularly important in the age of COVID. Source elimination or reduction, building design, operation strategies and human behavior are all targeted. Fundamental air quality, ventilation effectiveness and construction pollution management are considered at a base level, with enhancements like operable windows, active VOC control and microbe and mold control.

As we continue to work with existing structures, keeping them part of the fabric of our cities, it is important to find ways to make them current and responsible. To me, ESG, PACE and WELL are helping that happen.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.