Working to Ensure Building Sustainability 

by RaeAnne Marsh

“Among its many innovations, CHASSE Building Team has adopted Lean Construction Methods and developed a customized CHASSE Lean approach. CHASSE Lean is a collaborative process to achieve maximum value on all of our projects while minimizing project waste such as cost, material, time and effort,” says Barry Chasse, founder of CHASSE Building Team. 

CHASSE’s Lean construction approach starts with identifying and creating a project community. The community is everyone involved in successfully completing the project: the owner, architect, CHASSE team, trade partners, consultants, inspectors, etc. The community adheres to CHASSE’s Lean culture by being respectful of each other, collaborating by asking instead of telling, and striving to get better every day. 

From the baseline construction schedule prepared during the design phase, CHASSE Building Team invites the entire project community to participate in a Pull Planning Session. Using a graph schedule and sticky notes, each community member can map out their task, what they need to start, how many days the task will take, and how many team members are involved. This innovative approach is very different from typical construction scheduling methods. The end result is a project schedule the community collaboratively creates, agrees upon and takes ownership of.

CHASSE then facilitates weekly meetings between community members to ensure milestones are being met and the project schedule remains on track. “Through this, we’re able to be very proactive rather than reactive in identifying delays and the corrective actions needed in order to reduce rework and waste,” Chasse says. 

Beyond that, every morning all trade foreman actively working on the jobsite attend a Daily Huddle. Daily construction activities, any constraints and safety are covered during this brief meeting.

CHASSE incorporates sustainable building in its own company practices. Describing the company’s headquarters, which it moved into in late 2019, Chasse says, “CHASSE Building Team’s new office location was founded, designed and constructed with sustainability at the forefront. Every aspect of our new home is not only environmentally responsible, but also takes into consideration team member comfort and operational protocols.” 

A snapshot of CHASSE’s sustainable efforts includes energy-efficient elements: high-efficiency mechanical units, energy management system, passive cooling, efficient indoor lighting, a high-performing building envelope and photovoltaics.

Environmental elements range from salvage and repurposing to recycling construction waste. “When looking for our new business home, we wanted to ‘make something new again’ … It was important to us to repurpose a structure, and salvage as much of the materials as possible. We repurposed a 1970’s warehouse in Tempe. We salvaged over 70% of the building components, while adding a modern industrial feel.” The project achieved its goal of diverting 75% of construction waste from the landfill. And for continuing daily operations, “All of our paper products are made with post-consumer recycled content. We use digital plans with Plan Grid software and recycle all of our paper waste.”

Occupant comfort is also part of CHASSE’s environmental focus, from height-adjustable work stations to healthy lunches three times a week. Going even further, Chasse says, “We have several bikes and motorized scooters for our team to use for lunch breaks and errands. We are located less a half mile to 20 restaurants and major retail stores. Our office is an easy commute from anywhere in the Valley. We are less than two miles from the light rail and have a bus stop less than 500 yards from our front doors.”

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