Instead of hiring a general contractor to oversee the construction, TMCC acted as the general manager, assembling a local crew and handling all the subcontracts.
“We wanted to have more control over how the facility was built and ensure that it was done in a way that reflects our principles. Everyone on the crew came on as much for the job as for the opportunity to help support us and our mission,” says Michael Cline, TMCC’s executive director.
While most were highly respected tradespeople in the area, many had never worked on a green building project. For example, the construction manager was a boat builder by trade but had the right philosophy and the skills TMCC needed to coordinate the effort.
“I had my reservations at first, but it was a phenomenal group of people, and everyone really respected Tin Mountain’s mission in a way that another crew might not have,” says Christopher Williams, the project’s architect.
“A perfect example is the way waste was dealt with. The motto on the job was ‘carry in, carry out’—just like the backpacking principle. Anyone who created trash had to deal with it, and they did,” says Williams. “That’s a mind-set you don’t normally see on a typical construction site.”
One of the few exceptions to the local crew was the solar systems installer. Given the complexity of the roof-integrated design, TMCC brought in KW Management Inc., an installation company in Nashua, New Hampshire, that had worked with Solar Design Associates on other custom installations and was familiar with its proprietary roof-integrated assemblies.
A local electrician and plumber also helped with the month-long installation, because TMCC wanted to have technicians in the area who understood the systems and could respond to urgent repair calls.