Colleagues at The Weitz Company teasingly
refer to Kris Lengieza as “Top 40.” At just 29-years-old, the Massachusetts native became a recognizable name in the industry following his designation as one of Building Design + Construction’s Top 40 Under 40. The distinction
is a result of his technological acumen—he brought BIM to the forefront at The Weitz Company, augmenting the software with laser scanning, model-based layout, and field integration. Here, Lengieza talks about his office’s first BIM project
and how the technology is a boon for green
I’m always the guy with the new toys. When I initially heard about 3-D modeling, I brought it up to [The Weitz Company], but we weren’t ready for it then. In 2008, Weitz began to realize the potential for BIM, and I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in
what I knew would be a game changer. It was a very important and somewhat challenging system to implement. There is a lot of hardware and software
to learn and implement, and it’s an all-new way of doing things. It was difficult for some to get on board. I explained it by saying people might have used a hammer and nails in the 1800s, but now you’d never think of framing a roof without a nail gun. It’s the same thing—it’s just a more modern way of doing things that makes your job easier and more efficient.
Up Close and Personal
What was your first job?
I was a caddy at a golf course. It’s where I developed my love of the game, and I still play today.
If you weren’t in construction, what would you do? I would have majored in business. It was my goal to start my own business by the age of 30. I’m not sure if it’s going to happen, but I’m not giving up on the dream.
Describe yourself in three words. Getting things done.
What’s your hidden talent? Competing in triathlons.
This technology allows you to push the envelope in
a lot of ways. It’s especially helpful when it comes to sustainability. It enables you to pre-plan and pre-fabricate a worksite. We can show our clients their buildings before they’re completed, and we can identify problems before we even get into the field. It reduces waste and increases productivity, allowing us to do more work in a shorter amount of time. You can also include more systems in less space, which reduces energy. On a condo in Colorado we cut so much systems-related space that we were able to add another floor to the building.
The Wellington Municipal Complex was our first big LEED project. To be honest, we were a little unsure of our footing. There were some growing pains, but we put together a good team. We were aiming for LEED Silver but got LEED Gold, and much of it was owed to some green initiatives that had nothing to do with the actual building of the project. A big score-getter came from the town’s promise to use Green Seal-certified cleaning products like Wausau Paper products and Diversey cleaners and maintain an electric bus route around the town. In the end, the city got a highly efficient complex, and we got our first big LEED project under our belt, so it was a win-win for everyone.