Environmental Ethics



We look for ways to be sustainable in all that we do, not because it is popular, but because it is the right thing. Our
goal is to leave the environment in a better place than we found it. For us, sustainability is a part of every business
decision we make as part of our responsibility to our clients, teammates and community. Our team has completed
over $450 million in LEED projects and remains actively involved as leaders of the United States Green Building
Council (USGBC). We consistently promote whole-systems holistic thinking by considering how sustainable building
methods affect the total life-cycle cost as well as the community and human benefits.


From our clients to our community and team, the most important part of our business is the people. As such, we have embraced the WELL approach to guarantee a healthy place for our most valuable resources. By focusing on principles related to air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind, we make environments healthier for their occupants. We are proud of the fact that the Barringer Construction Global Headquarters is on its way to becoming one of the first WELL certified spaces in our region.


Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of premature mortality, contributing to 50,000 premature deaths annually in the United States and approximately 7 million, or one in eight premature deaths worldwide.


While taste and aesthetic preferences lead many people to drink bottled water, consumption of bottled water is not without its drawbacks. Overreliance on bottled water has environmental implications, but even putting aside those concerns, the quality of bottled water is subject to degradation. In one study, levels of antimony in 48 brands of bottled water from 11 European countries increased by 90% after 6 months of storage due to antimony leaching from polyethylene terephthalate bottles (PET(E) bottles, designated as recyclable “1”).


Together with physical inactivity, poor diet is a major contributor to the U.S. overweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25-29.9) and obesity (BMI over 30) epidemic, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Over two thirds (69%) of all American adults (20 years and older) today are overweight, and more than a third (35%) are obese. The situation is similar worldwide, with more than 1.9 billion (39%) adults overweight in 2014, of which over 600 million (13%) were obese, making obesity not just an epidemic but a global pandemic.


Multiple physiological processes—including those relating to alertness, digestion and sleep—are regulated in part by the variance and interplay of hormones involved in this cycle. A consideration of light exposure is particularly significant considering the role this plays in sleep, and given that the Institute of Medicine reports that about 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a chronic sleep or wakefulness disorder. Further, such disorders and chronic sleep deprivation are associated with increased risk of certain morbidities, including diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, hypertension and stroke.


Physical inactivity poses one of the biggest modern threats to public health. It is an independent risk factor for numerous chronic diseases and is estimated to be responsible for 30% of ischemic heart disease, 27% of type 2 diabetes and 21-25% of breast and colon cancer cases. Lack of physical activity can also increase the odds of having a stroke by 20-30% and shave off 3-5 years of life. Together, these and other conditions make physical inactivity the fourth leading risk factor for mortality, accounting for 6-9% of deaths worldwide, or three to five million mortalities every year.


Acoustic comfort, ergonomics and universal design play a significant role in mitigating physical and mental stress. Most of the adverse health effects related to ergonomics are seen in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems of the human body. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis and others are extremely common in nearly all populations. Low back pain affects about 31 million Americans, and 380,600 days of work were missed in 2013 because of musculoskeletal disorders, accounting for one third of the total number of days away from work. The statistics are similar worldwide and in 2010, nearly 7% (more than 169 million) of all disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) resulted from musculoskeletal disorders.


In 2010, mental illnesses and substance use disorders accounted for nearly 184 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), 8.6 million years of life lost to premature mortality (YLL) and over 175 million years lived with disability (YLD) worldwide. Furthermore, it is estimated that the life expectancy among those with mental illness is more than 10 years shorter compared to those without mental illnesses, and that more than 14%, or 8 million deaths each year are attributable to mental disorders.