Green consultant looks to open business in Carson City |

Green consultant looks to open business in Carson City

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City businessman Ron Clark is a green consultant – a profession that could keep him busy in the next few years as developers become interested in meeting the public’s desire for earth-friendly buildings, while keeping it economic.

Clark is looking to start his Energywise business in Carson City. He speaks about green building in terms of “controlling the movement of the air, moisture and heat” and in dollar signs. One building he worked on in Socrates, N.Y., cost only $150 a year to heat.

It isn’t the environmental concerns that will urge developers to use green technology, said Craig Sheehy, director of property management for Thomas Properties Group. It’s the cost savings.

“We’re going to do it because we can show an economic benefit,” he said Thursday morning at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada morning membership meeting in Reno.

Nevada has an incentive program for developers who use renewable energy in their projects, which is attractive to developers, Sheehy said.

Residents have also expressed a desire for more green energy. It was identified as one of six business sectors to pursue for new business recruitment, expansion and start-up in Northern Nevada, according to an economic report issued by development consultant AngelouEconomics.

Sheehy’s company manages the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento, which was recognized as one of the most energy efficient high-rise buildings in the U.S. This building has several energy-conserving features, such as waterless urinals and a “worm bin” for food waste. Although the worms may be out of the question for many businesses, he recommended several ways that a building can be easily retrofitted for energy conservation.

Small changes made at the EPA building, such as taking away trash cans from beside workers’ desks and installing recycling centers throughout the building, made big differences. His property management company saved $65,000 in trash can liners that they didn’t have to purchase.

It saved another $100,000 a year in energy costs by changing the custodians’ cleaning schedule. Instead of switching on lights at night to clean the building, janitors could do all their work during the day with silent vacuums.

The bottom line: The EPA building costs about $1.21 per square foot to run, compared to $2.71 for other downtown properties.

That $1.50-per-square-foot difference comes to a $1.4 million savings, Sheehy said.

“There’s not an asset manager or property manager that wouldn’t jump up and down at these numbers,” he said. “This is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.”

On the Net

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• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.