David Martin of Terra Group Talks Project Sustainability: How This Real Estate Developer Determines His Firm’s Best Practices
MIAMI, FL, UNITED STATES, December 30, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — From the outside looking in, it’s not always easy to understand what a company does or how its leadership team come to their conclusions. What is clear is that an organization’s decisions do have the ability to drastically impact its surroundings.
The CEO of Terra Group, David Martin, has a lot of experience in his industry. As the son of the previous CEO, he’s had plenty of exposure to both the best and worst of real estate development. Terra has an $8 billion portfolio, one that was built with an eye on quality and, ultimately, sustainability. He discusses how he evaluates and settles on the best practices for his firm.
The first factor that David Martin of Terra Group has to contend with is the variances between every project. Southern Florida may seem to be uniformly consistent, but the nuances are often where problems arise. Whether it pertains to soil composition or cloud coverage, even small discrepancies can demand big adjustments in how practices are planned and executed.
Working in and around Miami, the CEO has to think about how the heat, hurricanes, and rainfall (among other weather events) will affect his individual facilities. He also needs to think about the function of the facility itself. An industrial facility will have very different requirements and energy consumption patterns from a luxury condo development.
As the proud planner of such ground-breaking works as Eighty Seven Park, a Pritzker Prize-winning Renzo Piano’s first foray into residences, he has to be aware of how the design and planning of each building fits into the larger framework of his sustainability goals.
David Martin of Terra has learned that best practices won’t look the same for every project, nor do they necessarily need to be uniform across every firm. For instance, some firms may specialize in wind power while others have a better handle on geothermal heating. What it does come down to, though, is how these patchwork practices protect the environment without compromising the quality of the final product.
When Martin first studies a new trend or technology, he tries to look at it from as many angles as possible. He finds that the best practices for projects typically boast multiple benefits that nearly everyone can get behind.
For instance, relying on local goods and services not only allows firms to support the immediate economy, it also cuts back on the energy needed to transport materials to the development site. Solar power doesn’t just cut back on non-renewable fuel consumption, it also drastically lowers people’s utility bills (particularly in the Sunshine State). Making insulation out of old jeans not only saves energy, it can also reduce the amount of (virtually non-biodegradable) trash in our landfills. A cool roof won’t just bring down the heat inside the building it covers, it can literally help decrease the smog layer in an already overloaded city.
One major change that makes it easier for leaders like Martin of Terra is the sheer breadth of support that’s being offered in the industry. New companies are debuting every day, attempting to find these win-win products and techniques that make responsible developers sit up and take notice. His job is to stay on top of what’s new and decide whether or how it can be integrated into his projects to lower Terra’s footprint.
Best practices not only have to be smart for the environment, they’re also smart for the projects and the communities they touch. Buyers increasingly demand facilities that don’t take the environment for granted. For David Martin, it’s a legitimate satisfaction to essentially solve the puzzle. He has to decide which practices will bring sustainability to his company and improve the value of his portfolio. It’s not an easy feat, but it’s one that Terra Group continues to pull off year after year.
Another major component of his job is to consistently update best practices as a project progresses from one stage to the next. Sometimes what looks like a smart, responsible choice before work begins is anything but once the project is up and running. This often unavoidable situation can only be fixed by having a team that can quickly process the realities of their actions and alter them to protect the neighborhood.
David Martin of Terra Group says he’s worked hard to find people (including vendors) who prioritize sustainability as much as he does. Incidentally, this best practice might be the one he recommends most. Work with people who care, and the results will speak for themselves.
David Martin of Terra on Getting Started
Martin believes that best practices ultimately start with communication and education. Everyone has their own sense of personal responsibility to the Earth (or lack thereof). Some people will make excuses about poor choices that harm the planet. Others take it to the other extreme, attempting to zero out their consumption with ever more drastic efforts. It’s a balancing act for Martin to figure out who’s really on the side of the Earth, one that can be bridged only by forging real relationships with collaborators.
It all starts with being upfront. Explaining his goals and sticking to his ideals might alienate some people, but Martin has found that it influences far more. When a developer raises the sustainability bar, it can quickly normalize the practices and set a new standard that everyone will feel compelled to follow. It’s also earned him a reputation for integrity and inspired his peers to put profits in their proper place.
True sustainability in projects has to go deeper than tossing out words like ‘renewable’ and ‘recyclable’. Any developer can make bold claims that have little to do with the truth. Professionals like David Martin of Terra know that it’s really a career-long pursuit to get right.
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