C&S Companies: LEEDing by Example

‘We have to change some behaviors; the earth is our life-support system.’

By Martha Conway

New York enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019 – one of the most aggressive climate laws globally – requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and by at least 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

Some of those goals are 85-percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, 100-percent zero-emission electricity by 2040, 70-percent renewable energy by 2030 and 22 million tons of carbon reduction through energy efficiency and electrification.

C&S Companies make it their mission to help companies meet or exceed these ambitious goals.

Office Principal and Sustainability Leader Tim Hughes said C&S Companies is a multi-disciplinary engineering, architecture and construction firm having more than 450 employees representing all engineering and architectural disciplines and having expertise in all commercial markets.

“Anything that gets built, we can design,” Hughes said.

The green team

Hughes said when green and sustainable design and construction peeked their heads into the building trades, C&S was on the cutting edge and green thinking resonated with him.

“I knew it wasn’t a fad, it just made sense” he said.

Hughes said C&S strives to reduce negative impacts in internal operations and client projects across all markets. Employees formed a ‘green team’ to make changes internally. They overhauled systems in their own properties and sought landlord cooperation in the rest. The overall effort resulted in examination and reduction of their own footprint, demonstrating they can help clients go green, too.

C&S started purchasing recycled materials and reducing or eliminating use of potentially hazardous materials and single-use items.

“What we landfill is important, and we need to overcome our consume-and-dispose mindset and be resource-efficient with water, energy and materials,” Hughes said. “A lot of materials contain toxins, carcinogens and other things that affect human health and the endocrine system.”

C&S installed heat recovery systems, sensors and LED light fixtures. The main complex in Syracuse is LEED-certified in operation and maintenance. They began the transition to a non-carbon alternative energy source; solar offsets 25- to 30 percent of their energy costs, and they will see payback in about four years. Electric vehicle charging stations were installed and air travel impacts are offset via the Good Traveler carbon offset program.

“To encourage clients to build more intelligently, C&S models environmentally responsible design and construction,” Hughes said. “That includes materials, energy and transportation. To keep climate change in check, we must reduce carbon. We have to change behaviors; the earth is our life-support system.”

Hughes said the objective is to look past short-term goals and build a better building up front to save over the entire lifecycle of the project.

C&S gets all engineering disciplines involved, providing a comprehensive, integrative, whole systems perspective in the planning and design process to identify synergies, interdependencies and avoid potential unintended consequences and create solutions that balance all project and societal goals.

“Eighty percent of existing buildings will be here in 2050, so they have to be addressed,” Hughes said, explaining retrofitting existing spaces is challenging. “Regardless of how you feel about global climate change, the evidence is here: we’re depleting our resources and degrading the ecological systems that provide for our quality of life.”

Energy efficiency

Managing Engineer Ben Tashjian said energy efficiency is achieved through a number of services. An energy audit is performed on existing buildings, focusing on controls upgrades, mechanical equipment replacement with energy-efficient equipment, envelope upgrades and LED lighting conversion.

“C&S is a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority-approved FlexTech consultant,” Tashjian said. “The FlexTech program provides matching funds – or better, sometimes as much as 75 percent of some projects – for a variety of energy-efficiency studies and schematic design services for existing buildings.” These savings apply to many sectors including higher education, healthcare, and municipalities.

He said FlexTech allows clients to get more for their money and can offer more in-depth analysis. Energy modeling creates a more 3D view of buildings, simulating energy-consuming items and allowing engineers to remove items to calculate savings for each component.

“We want to help people stop, think and make smarter choices for energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions,” Tashjian said, explaining that C&S can help entire communities capture data and meet governmental standards for efficiency demanded by the CLCPA. “The only way to do that is no fossil fuels.”

“Analysis helps the client and the team by having input from all possible disciplines,” Tashjian said. “With this approach, we wind up with a much better project for our client.”

He said C&S can help clients secure funds to meet their sustainability goals.


“Airports, by nature, are composed of large facilities, buildings and infrastructure that support the traveling public and aircraft operations,” said Senior Consultant Kailey Eldredge. “That doesn’t mean they need to be an energy drain or massive source of emissions; there’s much that can be done when it comes to planning, designing and building to really help airports achieve sustainability goals and reduce impacts to the environment. They are assets to the public and contributors to social sustainability.”

C&S introduces operational efficiency to the triple bottom line definition of sustainability – because airports are unique in their operational needs and their focus on the safety of the public.

“COVID-19 had a massive impact on airports and airlines,” Eldredge said. “In a way, it’s really opened airports’ eyes to their role in public health.”

C&S also helps airports implement rating systems and certifications to meet their planning, design, and construction goals.

“We make a great effort to promote stakeholder engagement in every project we do, whether it’s a runway extension or airport master plan,” Eldredge said, echoing her colleagues on the importance of an integrative, whole systems view and multidisciplinary involvement from the start. “It’s something we’ve continued to do successfully, even during COVID.”

“We make sure we’re providing the highest and best value to every client,” Eldredge said. “Sustainability shouldn’t be a burden. We want to establish balance between benefits and cost-efficiency.”

“The earlier you conduct engagement focused on your organization’s goals and where you can make sustainable decisions, the easier it is to implement strategies. The further along in a process, the more costly it is to make changes that benefit a project and the organization as a whole.”

“Not just the big projects, and not just the ones that are pursuing LEED or fancy certifications, but every project, every decision you’re making is going to benefit you in the long run.”

Industrial Process


Principal Engineer Carey Merritt said industrial clients’ main focus is conserving energy, usually done though modifying processes that capture waste energy or replacing energy-using equipment with more efficient equipment.

“Replacing boilers and ventilation systems with energy-efficient units or adding smart controls that minimize run times during off-peak times are examples of how we have helped clients in the past,” Merritt said. “In addition, we look for sustainable building practices like passive solar, low-E windows and doors, tighter building envelopes and smart BMS system when we have the opportunity to design new or get involved with substantial renovations.”

Occasionally, we design in the renewable energy sector, he said.

“We recently finished a complete overhaul of an early 1900s small hydroelectric plant on the Owasco river in Auburn.”

“We use our energy managers, LEED architects and controls engineers to help project teams build sustainable methods into the design process. Oftentimes, we will perform energy-use analysis up front, which can be used to drive building-related decisions.”

“We also leverage our construction and operations team members to bring practicality into our work.”

Carbon management

Senior Principal John Trendowski said the first key to a carbon management program is to determine the source of carbon owned and operated by the facility (Scope 1), the electricity usage (Scope 2) and all other sources of greenhouse gases not controlled by the owner (Scope 3).

“Once the carbon sources are identified, we research how the sources can be reduced – if not eliminated – in a reasonable timeframe and cost.”

He echoed Tashjian that C&S can help identify funding opportunities through federal, state, and local governments or third-party companies.

The carbon management program should provide a realistic schedule of projects to reduce greenhouse gases over a certain period and identify potential obstacles that could affect a project. As a facility reduces the combustion of petroleum-based fuels, it also reduces criteria pollutants and potentially hazardous air pollutants.

C&S services parallel the components of a carbon management program:

  1. Greenhouse gas inventories to determine existing baseline conditions
  2. Sustainability plans detailing goals and steps to reduce greenhouse gases
  3. Integration of carbon-reduction strategies into potential projects and evaluation of alternatives
  4. Mitigation project design, including plans, specifications, bid services and construction management
  5. Funding source identification, including preparing grant applications and securing funding to offset the capital costs of projects
  6. Assist clients in obtaining management approval, incorporate sustainability into all facets of the organization and train staff, as necessary

“The bare truth is, humanity is tasked with resolving these issues within the timeline identified by the science if we want to avert the worst of the predicted consequences,” Trendowski said. “C&S continues to rapidly evolve their knowledge and approach to help those responsible for building and operating infrastructure to achieve their missions while addressing these broader impacts within their economic constraints.” 

For more information, contact C&S Companies at 877.CS.SOLVE (toll-free), contactus@cscos.com, facebook.com/pages/CS-Companies, twitter.com/C_SCompanies or linkedin.com/company/c&s-engineers-inc-. For more information on NYSERDA’s FlexTech Program, visit cscos.com/2020/09/nyserda_incentive/.

Chatfield Green Roofing: Growing Opportunities

By: Tami Scott

Bob Parker can attest to the old adage that perseverance really does pay off.

As the founder of Skaneateles Falls-based J&B Installations, which specializes in commercial roofing, Parker established another company 25 years later. The subsidiary, Chatfield Farms, was launched in 2006, about a year after J&B Installations worked on a green roofing project at SUNY Cortland. That operation involved using XeroFlor, a pre-vegetative roofing system that at the time was grown in Canada and nowhere else in North America. The product piqued Parker’s interest, and he consequently offered to be a grower at his farm in Elbridge if an opportunity became available.

“I kind of kept bugging him and bugging him,” said Parker, referring to the XeroFlor representative based in North Carolina. “And finally I met with him about a year later and became a grower for XeroFlor because they had a lot of projects coming up in the states.”

Originally developed about 45 years ago in Germany, XeroFlor has since gained substantial recognition throughout Europe, North America and Asia. And in the 10-plus years that Chatfield Farms has become a grower, its participated in numerous high profile projects, the Jacob Javits Convention Center among them.

“The Javits Center is our biggest roof grown out of the Elbridge field,” said Parker, who has good reason to feel a particular pride for this accomplishment. “We had almost a half million square feet of green roofing on the ground.” The Jacob Javits Convention Center roof size is 294,000 square feet, the largest green roof in New York City and the second largest in the nation. Only Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan beats it with a XeroFlor green roof installation of 10.4 acres, the equivalent of eight football fields. That was installed in 2003.

Benefits of Green Roofing

The benefits of green roofing are immense. For instance, green roofing significantly reduces stormwater runoff and improves water quality. Traditionally the roofing system is smooth, which causes water to run to the drain as fast as it hits the flat surface. Green roofing slows down the rate of water heading to the drains and subsequently wastewater treatment plants, and consequently reduces the need to build more plants.

“The green roof allows the water to stay on the roof [surface] up to an inch per rainfall event. Excess runs to the drains so most of the time you’re trapping the rainwater,” Parker said. “The water left on the roof is used for the sedum plants, with the remainder evaporating back into the air.” At the Javits Center, the roof, which was completed in 2014, prevents almost 7 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually.

Green roofing enhances building performance and conserves energy. According to a May 2013 archive published by Drexel.edu, Dr. Franco Montalto, a professor at Drexel’s College of Engineering and the lead researcher of a Javits Center study, was quoted as describing the intimate link between water and energy through the process of evapotranspiration. 

“Incident solar radiation changes liquid water, originally deposited on the roof by precipitation, into water vapor which then leaves the roof surface,” he said. “The energy consumed by this process keeps the roof and building cooler than it otherwise would be, since without the green roof this energy would simply heat up the roof surface. At the same time, if the air in the vicinity of the air conditioner intake pipes is cooler, these units have to work less to cool the —already cooler—building.”

 A black surface retains heat much longer than a green roof, Parker said, illustrating that a black roof in the middle of summer could reach a temperature as high as 150 to 170 degrees. In contrast, if you were to stand atop a green roof, the temperature would be similar to that of going to a park and laying on the grass.

Since the green roof at the Jacob Javits Center was installed, the temperature on the roof has decreased by 6 degrees Fahrenheit and the yearly energy consumption has decreased by just over a quarter, which in 2016 translated to a savings of $3 million.

Another benefit is an increase in urban biodiversity by providing a habitat for wildlife. According to its comprehensive 2017 Sustainability Report, the Javits Center roof has become a habitat for more than 20 bird species, including gulls, European starlings, barn swallows, rock pigeons, American kestrels and osprey. Five different species of bats now utilize the roof, as well as honey bees (300,000 have utilized roof hives) and arthropods.

Other advantages, just as significant, include a reduction of noise in the building and improvements to air pollution and air quality, “because it’s chewing up the carbon dioxide in the air,” Parker said. The longevity of the roofing system is also increased two- to three-fold because the sun’s UV rays are not hitting the surface of the roof, which prolongs the life of the system underneath.

 Additionally, those contemplating a green roofing system will find there are funding and grants available in many cities. One of the more recent cities to implement green mandates and tax incentives is Denver.  “Denver just created a new green zone, where if you’re inside the city you have to try and use green initiatives,” Parker said. “They’re giving a lot of tax incentives in Denver. We’re hoping that spreads across the country.”

Benefits of XeroFlor

XeroFlor, which has been installed in 38 states so far, is a lightweight, low maintenance and easy-to-install pre-vegetated mat system. Like Chatfield Farms, there are local growers across the country to supply the different regional climates for healthy, sustainable green roofing. Because the system is grown in the field, the plants are already mature and ready for installation. The cost, both monetary and time, associated with the types of systems that begin from scratch—through a plug or planting seeds or cuttings on a roof—are eliminated.

“When they roll out, [the mats are] just like sod on your lawn, ready to go. Servicing is simple: fertilize it in the spring, once a year, and do routine maintenance to take out any type of small weeds until it establishes completely,” Parker said. “The cost difference is about half the cost of a tray system.”

The XeroFlor mats are also non-biodegradable, which is special to the market, Parker said, because they can be picked up and reused 10, 20, even 30 years down the road. This feature makes them more sustainable than other systems that would need to be dug up in order to repair/ replace the roof, or install a roof top unit.

Project Highlights

Chatfield Farms initial involvement with XeroFlor as a grower in Onondaga County, town of Elbridge, evolved into becoming a licensed seller and supplier for the entire northeast, mid atlantic and central regions of the U.S.

 Aside from the Jacob Javits Convention Center, other sizeable and nationally recognized projects that Chatfield Farms has provided XeroFlor mats on include the Duke Medical Center located in Durham, N.C. (roof size just under 6,000 square feet), Columbia University in NYC (roof size 13,080 square feet), CBS in NYS (roof size 8,900 square feet), NYC’s School for Visual Arts Dormitory (roof size 3,080 square feet), Zeckendorf Towers in NYC (roof size 14,000 square feet), the Empire State Building (roof size 6,900 square feet) and Capital One Headquarters located, in McLean, Va., which has a roof size of 15,000 square feet.

Moving Forward: Products and Presence

“There’s been a lot of new products introduced into the industry,” Parker said. “You can build a green roof a hundred different ways and 95 of them will fail.” Parker projects that over the next few years, the industry will experience a “shakeout” of the multiple systems now being presented, but said he believes XeroFlor will hold its ground due to its nearly five decades of history and resilience. “They’ve been through the ups and downs of what’s good and what’s bad. There are certain manufacturers out there that try and make their systems as complicated to install as possible, making it a more difficult and expensive route to go.”

The increase in demand for green roofing, Parker said. can be attributed to better understanding of the concept, applications and benefits, as well as the tax incentives and grants that some cities are awarding to companies seeking eco-friendly building solutions.

As new ideas develop and blueprints hit the desks of decision-makers, green roofing could potentially become the dominant system in the industry. Roofs on older buildings can also be converted through lightweight systems. XeroFlor offers such systems with weights ranging from 8 to 25 pounds per square foot, Parker said. “We need very little soil. The Jacob Javits Center has a total of one inch of soil underneath the mat. The Ford Motor Company has no soil underneath, it’s just the mat,” he said. “The mats come with their own soil in them.”

Parker’s background in roofing extends more than 35 years, having established J&B Installations in 1981. His take on the green movement is one gained from first-hand knowledge combined with substantiated results. His response to the benefits of going green also touches on the basic facts that already evident to the general population.   

“It’s friendly to the environment. You’re taking the heat island effect out. You’re creating an environment for birds and [other wildlife]. You’re talking major municipalities like Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, Washington D.C. —they’re all pavement and concrete,” Parker said. “You’re bringing some green back into the environment. Every city could use more green.”

For more information on Chatfield Farms, call 315-466-2162 or visit gogreenwithchatfield.com.

Abscope Environmental Takes On New Leadership

By: Tami S. Scott

More About the Major Players

  • Man in black blazer headshotPresident and CEO Bob Romagnoli has spent all of his career in the environmental world, primarily on the consulting side. He has led multi-million-dollar Superfund remediation programs from investigation/design to construction and developed turn-key environmental strategies for numerous Fortune 100 companies. He served as Sr. Vice President at Arcadis and Managing Director at TIG Environmental before joining Abscope in January 2019.


  • Man in blazer headshotExecutive Vice President Rob Gray has more than 28 years of experience in the Environmental Remediation field. He has been an instrumental member of the Abscope Team since 1995. He has extensive project experience with MGP remediation, Hazardous Waste Remediation, Stream Sediment Removal, ISS, Sheet Pile Installation, Deep Excavations, and Site Development Projects.


  • Man with pink shirt and blazer headshotExecutive Vice President Robert Duffy has been a key employee of Abscope Environmental since 1989 and Vice President since 2009. Prior to 2009, Robert was General Manager for five years, managing and coordinating a variety of asbestos abatement projects throughout the Northeastern and Midwestern US. Since 1989, he has successfully supervised and/or managed more than 3,500 asbestos abatement projects.

Based in small-town Canastota, New York, Abscope Environmental’s roots reach back to the early 1970s when John Romagnoli established Canastota Constructors, a company that focused on heavy highway construction and site development.

It was 18 years later in 1989, when John, together with his sons, Jack and Jerry, founded Abscope, once described by Jerry as a spin-off of his dad’s livelihood. Over time, the company has grown to become one of the premier environmental remediation construction firms in the country. Today, Abscope embraces an era of new leadership, and is proud to announce its most recent developments.    

A New Era

Over the past two years, Jack and Jerry gradually hung up their Abscope hats for new roles as retirees, and gracefully passed the torch to their youngest brother, Bob Romagnoli. It was somewhat an expected rotation of ownership as the trio had talked about it for years, but as Bob explained, the timing now was finally right. With more than 30 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry, Bob is more than prepared to take on the family dynasty—and with good company.

In March 2020, long-time employees and minority owners since 2010, Robert Duffy and Rob Gray, signed on as majority partners, having an opportunity to own a larger percentage of the company. The contract was signed about two weeks prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and Robert joked that had the deal been further delayed, he might have run the other way. As with Bob Romagnoli, timing is everything, and fortunately, Abscope is surviving the pandemic with minimal upset, having been deemed “essential” from the start. 

“[Rob Gray and Robert Duffy] have been an integral part of the company for decades now, and together with my brothers, developed the successful business that we have today,” President and CEO Bob Romagnoli said.

General Manager Steve Mitchell, who has been with the company for 30 years, has also been a critical piece in the growth and success of Abscope. Mitchell handles the day-to-day coordination of resources and equipment, and according to Romagnoli, “stands on his head” to keep things running smoothly. “Stevie is laser focused on ensuring that all of our projects are properly staffed and equipped; his attention to detail is extraordinary,” he said.    

The New Normal

Though the current pandemic has postponed some state-funded school-related projects, overall, it has been business as usual — with just a few tweaks. Since COVID-19 has surfaced, there has been a heightened need for both preventative and reactive office cleaning to ensure a safe workspace. This type of service is a natural fit for Abscope’s Industrial Decontamination capabilities. Abscope can provide all surface sanitization and disinfection (aggressive industrial cleans), or it can serve a client through containment, decontamination, and remediation of coronavirus infectious sites and waste.

The company’s response methods are in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approved antimicrobial products, and OSHA’s COVID-19 planning guidance.

The team has had no active cases of the coronavirus to date.

Areas of Expertise — Rob Gray

Executive Vice President Rob Gray heads up both the remediation and geotechnical divisions, the former having gained “expert” status, the latter being a relatively new area for Abscope.

“Over the last 10 or 15 years we’ve been a pretty strong player in the MGP market,” which is short for Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation, Gray said. “We do much of that work for utilities such as NYSEG, National Grid and Rochester Gas & Electric Company (RG&E). This is an area where we’ve established a solid presence, and get a good share of the work, given our expertise.”

New York State has numerous MGP sites, Gray said, adding that “the list of sites gets longer each year [and] utility companies are doing all they can to get the sites cleaned up.”

While Abscope also provides a variety of geotechnical services such as shoreline stabilization, sheet piling, groundwater cut-off wall installation, and in-situ soil stabilization (ISS), they tend to fly under the radar a bit. Despite that, Abscope has worked on numerous geotechnical projects throughout its history, inspired by the company’s civil construction roots. Most recently, Abscope completed a shoreline stabilization project on Onondaga Lake, located directly in front of the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater. The next shoreline stabilization project may be out of state. “It’s an active market in Michigan right now, and we’re accustomed to working throughout the Mid-West,” Gray said.

Abscope is also gaining traction in another new territory, providing civil works for windfarm repowering projects. The work generally includes developing lay down areas, access roads, crane pads, and various other site improvements needed to replace wind turbine components. This relatively new market for Abscope began in 2018 when a “green energy” developer contacted the company for support at a local windfarm. They selected Abscope due to its stellar safety record and reputation in the region. Since then, Abscope has continued to service this client throughout the US.

Areas of Expertise — Robert Duffy

Executive Vice President Robert Duffy, alongside General Manager Steve Mitchell, is charged with leading the asbestos abatement and industrial decontamination division.

Asbestos abatement services include the removal, encapsulation, enclosure, transportation, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials, as well as building demolition or selective demolition of building components. It also entails both lead and mold remediation.

Like Gray, Duffy’s involvement at Abscope goes back decades. He has been, and continues to be, a key player at Abscope, interacting daily with clients, regulatory personnel, subcontractors, and project engineers. He is also responsible for estimating, proposal development, submittal generation, waste disposal coordination, and final report development. Duffy has been instrumental in the development of project-specific health and safety work plans and Abscope’s company-wide, behavior-based Health and Safety program.

Reflecting on his years of dedication and service to Abscope, Gray said the opportunity that Jack and Jerry gave both him and Duffy has meant a lot to him. “They saw a lot of potential in us and determined that we were guys they should hold onto to help keep the company going when they retired,” he said. “I appreciate and thank them for the opportunity they gave [us].”

Green Building Tax Incentives – Part I

Nicholas L. Shires, CPA, Dannible & McKee, LLP

Nicholas L. Shires, CPA is a tax partner at Dannible & McKee, LLP.  Nick has over 16 years of experience providing tax and consulting services to a wide range of clients, including individuals and privately held companies. If you have questions for Nick regarding the green building tax incentives reviewed in this article, feel free to contact him at nshires@dmcpas.com or 315-472-9127

Sustainable design and construction of green buildings can be a costly endeavor for those looking to make a long-term investment.  As sustainable design gained prominence over the past decade, the Federal government and most state governments have offered financial incentives to entice builders, owners, designers, and developers to make the initial investment.  Those that are not taking advantage of the credits, deductions and rebates below are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

                In Part I of this series, we will highlight the incentives that are available under the current tax code.  Clean energy is a major focus of President Biden’s proposed legislative changes, and there are substantial tax incentives included in the proposals.  We will discuss those in Part II.

Tax Credits

  1. Research & Development Credits (R&D)

Companies in the construction and design industries can benefit substantially from the R&D credit. This credit may be available if the company invests in activities which develop or enhance projects or processes through experimentation, which is not limited to the traditional lab setting everyone associates with the term Research and Development. Investments into green building design, designing energy efficient utility or HVAC systems, and LEED certification are among some of the qualified opportunities that companies may invest in to reap the benefits of the credit.

  1. Business and Residential Energy Credits

The revised residential energy credits apply to a more limited list of qualified property. For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, qualified property consists of solar, wind, geothermal, and fuel-cell technology. The credit is equal to 30% of the cost of the investment in the qualified property.  This credit has begun to phase out, as scheduled.  For 2020-2022, the applicable credit rate is 26%.


  1. Investment Tax Credit

The investment tax credit is a credit available to construction companies for installing solar energy systems in their commercial properties and residential property for individuals. The credit for the 2020 tax year is 26% of the amount of the investment in eligible solar property.


Tax Deductions

  1. Accelerated Depreciation Expense

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act extended bonus depreciation and increased the amount of the deduction from 50% to 100% of cost on qualified property through 2022. The deduction phases down to 80% in 2023, 60% in 2024, 40% in 2025, and 20% in 2026. Qualified property includes machinery and equipment. An oversight of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was that certain non-residential improvement property no longer qualifies for bonus depreciation as it had been in the past under the 50% bonus depreciation rules. However, this was corrected with later legislation, and now qualified improvement property qualifies for 100% bonus depreciation.


  1. Section 179D Expense

The Section 179D expense has been a valuable deduction for construction and design firms, allowing a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for installation of energy efficient property. Although this deduction has historically been temporary in nature and expired for tax years after December 31, 2017.  Congress retroactively extended this deduction to tax years 2018 – 2020.  More recently, on December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) made the Section 179D deduction a permanent provision.


While green building certainly comes at a cost over traditional construction methods, the above tax incentives can help to mitigate those increased costs.  The best way to ensure your construction company is availing itself of all credits and tax deductions is to contact a tax professional that is well versed in the specialized industry of green building.

Part II of this series will be available in the Fall 2021 Edition of Going Green.