published Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Recycling, organics part of contractor's marketing

by Tamara Best

* What: Green roofs, eco-paving, erosion control, living retaining wall

* Companies: EVS Inc. (Engineered Verdant Solutions) a division of Stein Construction.

* How is it green? Combines technology and organic material to aid erosion control, manage stormwater and landscape beautification. EVS has several projects under way, including a green roof at Red Bank High School.

* Why do it this way? Randy Whorton of EVS, said it's a love for the environment that fuels the company's outdoor environmental design. It is also an effort to help the city position itself as the country moves forward with sustainable initiatives, he said.

* Plans for expanding? Mr. Whorton said the company plans to expand regionally to Knoxville, Nashville and Atlanta, selling different types of soil blends.

* Any suggestions for others considering green initiatives? "Know what you have to work with," he said, understand what kind of traffic you have, how much extra structural integrity you have, which determines the amount of weight the building can hold. Education and research are also crucial to dispelling myths. "There are so many building owners and individuals who don't understand the benefits of having a green roof or living wall," he said. With marketing an important part of his work, Mr. Whorton offers free lectures about different types of green measures for people's businesses or homes.

* Is this an essential part of the business and why? "We as Americans have to -- absolutely have to -- change the way we live or there really won't be a planet left. We have to change the way we design buildings, surrounding ourselves with more of nature and plant more local," Mr. Whorton said.

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