Suffolk establishes new Sustainability Group

December 22, 2023 - Construction Design & Engineering

Boton, MA Suffolk has established its Suffolk Sustainability Group and hired respected sustainability thought leaders to meet its ambitious goal to lead the nation in sustainable planning throughout the entire building lifecycle. Steven Burke will serve as senior director of sustainability for Suffolk and Michael Swenson will assume the role of director of sustainability for Suffolk Design, the contractor’s design-assist business unit.

“Sustainable building is critical for the environment, for our clients and for the future,” said John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “Launching our Sustainability Team and hiring experienced leaders in the sustainability space demonstrate our strong commitment to strengthening our leadership position in the green building space and delivering the most sophisticated green buildings that will raise the bar for contractors throughout America.”

An ever-increasing client demand for sustainable building development and Suffolk’s desire to have a positive impact on its communities and the environment underscore the contractor’s heightened commitment to sustainable building. The Sustainability Group, overseen by Suffolk executive vice president Nick Dhimitri, will strengthen Suffolk’s in-house expertise and ability to assist clients and partners envision, design and execute a wider range of green building solutions. Suffolk’s sustainability planning processes, design support, sophisticated technologies and leveraging of data will also allow Suffolk teams to provide expanded technical services and identify the most cost-effective sustainable solutions for clients. Suffolk’s unique approach to sustainable building will lead to additional value-add for clients and long-term economic, environmental and social benefits.

Burke brings a wealth of experience to the Suffolk team, having led the sustainability strategy for a multi-billion-dollar contractor and guided sustainability processes for projects totaling 30 million square feet in sectors including education, residential, office and retail. Burke co-founded the Sustainable Construction Leaders network, a collection of sustainability professionals in construction, and helped create the Contractor’s Commitment, a roadmap for construction companies to operate more sustainably with more than 20 signatories representing $30 billion in market revenue.

Prior to his role at Suffolk Design, Swenson led interdisciplinary teams focused on sustainability and commissioning projects at BR+A Consulting Engineers where he offered technical services spanning decarbonization master planning for large campuses to providing detailed analyses of large data sets to correct building performance in alignment with energy and carbon goals. Swenson has also led Harvard University Green Building Services, where he integrated campus sustainability policy with capital projects to meet fossil fuel free and healthier material goals.

“Suffolk is uniquely positioned to deliver sustainable services that further demonstrate the company’s leadership in creative and innovative solutions that provide value throughout the entire life cycle of a building,” said Burke. “The unique corporate culture encourages regular review of processes and predictive analytics across verticals. I look forward to leveraging this culture and infrastructure to create environmentally and socially impactful solutions that are novel, inspiring and scalable.”

Suffolk is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and ranked #9 on the Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine list of “Top 100 Green Building Contractors” in 2023. To date, Suffolk has completed more than $15 billion and more than 60 million square feet of projects meeting third-party green building certification standards.

Suffolk has managed some of the most sophisticated sustainable building construction projects in the country, including the Boston University Center for Computing and Data Sciences, the largest net-zero structure in New England; Winthrop Center, the largest office tower with Passive House designation in the country; Bentley University Arena, the most sustainable ice arena in the country and first to achieve LEED Platinum; and the University of Massachusetts Amherst John W. Olver Design Building, the first of its kind to feature cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction to reduce its carbon footprint.




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