VOL. 132 | NO. 257 | Thursday, December 28, 2017
Energy Savings Fuel Entegrity’s Growth
By Michael Waddell
With environmental issues becoming a more common consideration and saving money always in vogue, it’s a great time to be in the construction industry. Those are the sentiments of Entegrity Partners, which has benefitted from an industry shift in recent years to more sustainable buildings.
The company changed its name from Viridian in April. Based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, the company has grown since its founding in 2007 to nearly 80 employees, with offices in Memphis; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas.; Jackson, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; and Denver, Colorado.
Principal Chris Ladner and Matt Bell are equal partners in the business, which Ladner started in 2007.
Entegrity Partners commissioning agent Sebastian Graba on the roof of Ballet Memphis’ new facility in Overton Square, one of the local projects the company is helping save money. (Submitted)
“Not that 2007-2008 was a great time to start a company, but at the time there was a need and a general movement within our industry to evaluate energy efficiency, resource efficiency, and sustainability as it relates to these construction projects and for existing buildings,” Ladner said. “We saw an opportunity there.”
Bell sold his own general contracting company before joining Ladner in 2008.
“So I came from a construction background, while Chris was more from the technical HVAC background,” Bell said.
Starting out, Entegrity served many clients nationally, assisting them in getting high-performance certifications through LEED and other certifications, primarily focused on new construction and helping architects, engineers and contractors design and construct buildings that would perform well.
“In 2013, we decided to expand into the existing building market, offering not only advice to make buildings perform better, but also the implementation of that advice,” Bell said. “We’ve had a lot of success with that because right now we’re putting our money where our mouth is.”
A typical analysis shows a building owner where they can enjoy energy savings, maintenance savings and operations savings.
Entegrity’s services include energy savings performance contracting, commissioning, energy modeling, building testing, lighting solutions, renewable energy, water conservation and sustainability consulting.
“Our services help people make more informed decisions about how to make their buildings better,” said Jane Pate, Entegrity regional office manager.
Entegrity Partners commissioning agent Sebastian Graba checks an HVAC unit. (Submitted)
Energy savings performance contracts guarantee energy savings for the client and typically max out at 20 years.
“We’re in a perfect time for building owners in that there’s been some pretty strong technology shifts in things such as LED lighting and renewable power,” Bell said. “There’s a combination of better pricing on the technology and advancements in the efficiency of those technologies.”
LED lighting upgrades on Entegrity projects have reduced money spent on energy lighting by 75 percent.
“We also look at the funding opportunities,” Pate said. “We are part of the TVA Preferred Partners Network. We know where to look for the USDA grants and where to find resources that will enable our clients to complete these projects in the most financially efficient way possible.”
Private liberal arts college Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, hired Entegrity to convert approximately 15,000 light fixtures to LED technology through an energy savings performance contract. The project will generate more than $1 million in net energy/maintenance savings for the college through 2027.
Entegrity also works on a wide range of building types, including full-service office, hospital, hotel, government, and industrial clients.
Memphis-based architectural and engineering company the Pickering Firm Inc. worked with Entegrity on two notable Nike projects, receiving LEED certification for its 2.2 million-square-foot distribution facility in Frayser and an accompanying office building.
“We were able to achieve a silver certification,” said Tim Ogburn, project architect at Pickering. “We helped put everything in for an energy model, and Entegrity took what we had and created a long-term energy model for this building – in this case they ran it out for 20 years.”
The advantage for Nike included seeing what its operating costs would be.
“It helps companies understand what their capital outlay will be for the next few decades,” Ogburn said. “And it helps them save money, which they can put back into the people who work there or use to upgrade their facilities.”
Practicing what it preaches, Entegrity’s headquarters in Little Rock is a LEED platinum building that is powered 100 percent by solar, and the company has electric cars charged by solar.
In Memphis, the company operates from the Emerge Memphis building Downtown.
In addition to rebranding, Entegrity opened offices in Denver last summer followed by new offices in Jackson in October. For the time being, Entegrity plans to focus on the Mid-South and Mountain West.
“We have plenty to do just in those areas right now,” Ladner said. “I think we’ve just barely scratched the surface.”