Ironwood Building Systems Pushes for Design Build Clients to be Environmentally Conscious

Dec 17, 2010 by

In a recent meeting with Ironwood Building Systems I was blown away by the passion that Lyle Schmidt and his son Ryan emit regarding doing the right thing for the environment when they design built their new location at 261211 Wagon Wheel Way in the Wagon Wheel Industrial Park.  I was fortunate enough to sell Ironwood the land under which they were building their new 15,000 square foot office and shop building.  I had seen the design and was impressed by the the non-traditional approach but on a recent visit Lyle enlightened me on the steps they had taken to be a leader in environmentally friendly building design and construction.  They are currently pursuing a LEEDS Gold designation.  The features of their new building are:

  • Passive solar design: cantilevered steel overhangs for solar shading, SolarBan60 Glazing film
  • High R-value wall (R35) and roof (R60)
  • Active solar design technologies: photovoltaic panels offset 25% of yearly electrical consumption
  • Rainwater collection system from the roof of the sturcture to operate all landscape irrigation and toilet fixtures
  • Low VOC interior finishes and furniture
  • Natural day lighting strategies: drafting computers on north side of building to provide even, non glare natural light
  • High efficiency boilers to run VAV air distribution system
  • High efficiency fluorescent lighting 


Lyle tells me that the cost to build in this fashion is not significantly more than what it takes to build using more traditional methods of construction when building from the ground up.  As with all “Design Build” options he tells me the most important part is the design and the interaction between design and costing.  I am a bit of a skeptic so Lyle has agreed to enlighten me in the new year with a cost comparison.   He also tells me that his utility bill for all of the services, gas, electricity and water was lower this past month (November)  than only the gas bill in his previous 6,000 square foot shop that was built from concrete block during the same month last year. 

The project is highlighted on their web site at

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