DeSoto company vies for major environmental award - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

DeSoto company vies for major environmental award

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - A Hernando company is taking 'going green' to a whole new level.

Architectural and Engineering Resources for Construction, or AERC, an architectural firm there, has the only building in the entire state of Mississippi that meets all green standards required for a major award.

Principal Owner Doug Thornton said going green was not an easy transition.

"I am into this as a reluctant convert," Thornton said. "I was not sold that the green building was the way we should be going, because you've heard so much about the cost of doing green, so I thought I needed to prove it for myself and do it in my own building."

Once he was convinced, the process of transforming began last November, and it was completed in March.

From the bamboo and cork floors, animal hair carpet, a 'cool' roof to reflect heat, purified air, and the concrete counter, everything is environmentally friendly, which brought the building to LEED certification.

"It's a third party verification that you are doing the proper design and doing energy efficient design," Thornton said. "'LEED' stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and it's a nationwide organization."

AERC is now up for the GOLD award and if they win, they will be the first to achieve it in Mississippi.

Thornton said he is a believer.

"I am 100 percent convinced that this is the direction the building industry and building design needs to move," he said.

Thornton added that it was not easy to find all the materials when they began the project last year, but since its completion there are now many more resources available for going green.

He also mentioned that the cost of the project would pay for itself in less than 20 years.

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