BIS logoSome may consider it foolhardy to start a new company in the midst of a recession.

But the founders of BIS LLC in Anderson, Ind., have discovered that the worst economic downturn in decades hasn’t stopped manufacturers from producing environmentally friendly products or investing in “green” production practices, according to a news release.

“Consumers increasingly want ‘green’ products and manufacturers realize that they can tap into that market, even during a recession,” said Andy Crisp of BIS LLC, whose consulting firm has developed an Eco-First Building Program to help manufacturers become certified green builders.

“Many manufacturers have already been taking steps in recent years to reduce their construction waste and to use water and energy more efficiently, so for many of them, becoming ‘green certified’ is not that difficult or costly,” Crisp said. “What we do is show them what they need to do to have their products and manufacturing processes certified to nationally recognized green building standards.”

BIS’ Eco-First Building Program is based on the National Green Building Standards, which have been developed by the American National Standards Institute.

BIS, which opened its doors in October, already has consulting contracts with several nationally known park model and manufactured housing companies, and Crisp said he hopes to eventually help some of the country’s RV manufacturers to go green.

BIS’s clients, for their part, are pleased with the company’s services.

“They are on time. They do what they say they are going to do. They make it easy,” said Donald Aheron, vice president of engineering for Martinsville, Va.-based Nationwide Custom Homes, which builds green modular homes.

Bob Holliday, founder and CEO of Chariot Eagle Inc., an Ocala, Fla.-based park model manufacturer, said he met Crisp during the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds’ annual InSites Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo, which took place in November in Orlando, Fla.

“We met with BIS representatives during the trade show and they offered to come to our Florida plant immediately to do an inspection,” Holliday said, adding that the BIS team has been “very efficient.” As a result, Chariot Eagle has achieved its green certification.

In Indiana, BIS is also generating business with Elkhart County manufacturers, including Country Log Cottages, an Elkhart-based park model manufacturer.

“The BIS team has given us great advice,” said Country Log Cottages National Sales Manager Carol Holdren. “It’s been an enjoyable experience working with them. They have taught us a lot.”

BIS offers four levels of green certification, including bronze, silver, gold and emerald. “Our manufacturers install low-flow water fixtures and use low VOC paints and sealants as well construction materials with a high percentage of recycled content. They also use manufacturing practices that maximize building resources and minimize the amount of waste that has to be taken to a landfill,” Crisp said.

For more information on BIS or for background on the latest trends involving green building, contact Crisp at (574) 527-0192 or visit the BIS website at www.eco-first.org.