A Green Business Network Member Spotlight
We recently chatted with Centric’s Director of Development and Marketing, Leah DiCarlo, about the locally owned construction company that joined the Green Business Network in June of this year. Keep reading to learn more about the company’s sustainability efforts and its approach to business in general.
Located right at the edge of the Crossroads district at West Pennway and I-35, Centric is a local construction company that serves clients of all types – including office, retail, healthcare, residential, multifamily, and more –with both large and small project needs.
“No project is too small – we’ll come change a door frame if that’s all a client needs. It’s also a nice service for larger clients that we can continue to take care of them even when they have smaller projects,” says Leah DiCarlo, Centric’s Director of Development and Marketing.
For the roughly 120 employees who work at Centric, it’s as much about the stories they get to be a part of as the construction projects they manage. In fact, it’s the essence of their new tagline: Stories from the ground up.
“We went through a rebranding process recently, and we talked a lot about our values. It was a whole exercise on discovering who are we are. We realized that the projects that get us really excited – the ones that light us up – are the projects with a story. It’s not just about the bricks and mortar, but the story behind it…what it means to the community,” says Leah.
Centric is proud to have been a part of several historic renovation projects in the community, including the 1914 Main building – the first renovation project in the Crossroads to happen in 100 years; an apartment complex at 3435 Main that was the first modular construction in Kansas City; and their own building, which sat vacant for years before they recently renovated it and moved in.
As they settle into their new office space, Centric employees are always looking for ways to weave sustainability initiatives into their new building and operations.
The company has consulted with Bridging The Gap’s solid waste program manager on how to implement an efficient and easy-to-use recycling system that works with their overall office culture and minimalist space. They
are working with the two other tenants in their building to eventually recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum and glass – and hopefully down the road, compost – building-wide.
Another big goal is to become a paperless office.
“As a contractor, that’s really hard to do because of the nature of our business. We work off construction drawings, and there’s a lot of documents to process with a project. It’s tough, but we are making progress. It’s a big transition from the ways things used to be. We’re taking it in smaller steps. For example, right now, we’re looking at paperless expense reports. We’re trying to be conscious about that – it’s definitely a challenge.”
But, Leah says, the company isn’t afraid of a challenge.
“I think that’s what keeps us competitive and desirable for our clients. For example, our pre-construction estimating team is always on the lookout for newer and better ways of doing things. We are definitely not afraid of trying anything new.”
Centric also works to be prepared whenever clients want to incorporate sustainability into their construction projects.
“A lot of sustainable projects are dictated by the client – by what they are interested in and what they want to invest in it. But we try to do our part on being up on the latest technology and projects so that we can advise on it when there’s an opportunity to do that.”
For example, Leah says, the company recently reached out to McLennan Design, a 100% sustainable architecture firm out of Seattle, Washington, to better understand ways in which they can incorporate new sustainable materials, practices and processes into their projects.”
Leah said they joined the Green Business Network with the hopes of furthering their knowledge of the role they can play in moving Kansas City forward.
“Sustainability is a value we have. We want to stay involved in the movement and understand the ways that we can contribute.”
“It’s important for people and companies to keep working toward a more sustainable world. It really does impact our future.”