Go Green With Green Construction and Hardwood Installation

Astonishing is the fact that while environment degradation has been included in the official list of ten threats by High Level Threat Panel of United Nations; we are getting more careless about this phenomenon. We have increased the use of toxic products that reduce the sustainability of the environment. Are we not mindful of how this carelessness can harm the life of humans and wildlife? If we are, why don’t we try to practice ways that make our environment sustainable?

There are several ways to avoid causing further damage to the environment. One of the easy ways to protect environment is by practicing green construction or green building. For those who are unaware of this term, let me give you a flavor of what is it all about. Green construction is the simple process of designing building in ways that make efficient use of resources and conserve energy. If you have cooling units installed in your homes you are going against green construction. Can’t you replace it with ceiling fans and large windows which will keep your home naturally cool and will use less energy than giant sized and heavy powered cooling units? The point is to conserve energy and make your home a healthier place to live in. Along with saving energy, it will save your cost as well.

Once you have made the structure of your house green, an additional change you can bring to add further value to your house is hardwood installation. Especially made for people who are prone to environmental allergies, hardwood installation is a byword for cleanliness, shine and elegance. It makes your interior cozy and warm. No more would have to spend a lot of time on cleaning food spills, for hardwood installation can be cleaned with simple mop or vacuums. It has replaced all other types of flooring because it is durable and easy to maintain. However it is expensive and thus it is out of reach for those who deem costly living an extravagance. Moreover this type of wooden flooring is more vulnerable to moisture. Even a little contact with water can decay hardwood installation.

But all pros and cons considered green construction and hardwood installation definitely enhances the value and functionality of the house. With the level of environment degradation reaching fearful heights, all of us need to practice green construction to avoid long term costs. Green construction increases resource efficiency, reduce the need for maintenance and saves the energy. Similarly hardwood installation complements green construction in its purpose of making the house eco-friendly and maintenance free. The next time you plan to renovate or build your house don’t forget to make these two styles a part of your construction scheme.

Going Green – Construction, Which the Environment Loves!

Sustainable building, green building, green construction or simply “going green” is a concept about eco-friendly construction. It involves the application of practices and technologies that are environmental friendly, right from the construction, to occupancy, maintenance, renovation and finally demolition. This concept first started rising in the ’70s when concerns regarding harmful impacts of construction industry on environment, and its resources, started growing.

Although no international agreement is available regarding carbon reduction and eco-friendly construction, there are organizations present that are working for the sustainability of natural resources, toxic reduction, recycling, waste reduction and application of energy efficient practices etc, such as EPA in the US. The EPA requires the construction industry to design and build buildings with eco-friendly materials and methods. This is not the only reason why construction industry has started following green trends. Many environmental-concerned companies and individuals have started emphasizing on green building, when doing a new construction or renovation project in their homes, commercial properties or work places. This is a very good sign because it educates and encourages the construction industry to work towards developing new sustainable building techniques. The need of going green gets more imminent as a recent study shows that the Ozone layer had depleted by 40%, which is alarming.

The basic principles of sustainable building in new construction projects and retrofitted properties include:

· Efficient use of land, water, energy and other resources.
· Improving the health of everyone living in a building.
· Providing clean environment to increase employees’ performance.
· Reducing pollution and other waste emission in the environment.
· Educating public about the need and merits of green building.
· Using local materials and manpower so as to avoid transportation cost of these brought from other towns and areas.

Not only it is important to derive methods for going green, it is equally important to use the present resources in an intelligent and efficient way.

Water Efficiency:

Two-third of the Earth consists of water, not all of it readily usable. It takes a lot of work and energy to make water usable which means there’s a shortage of water and therefore, we need to use it efficiently. A popular way of maintaining the quality of water and reducing its usage is to use dual plumbing system, which recycles the water with every flush of the toilet. Low-flow showerheads and low-flush toilets can also increase water efficiency during the life cycle of a building.

Energy Efficiency:

There are a lot of ways to use energy efficiently. Few simple methods are to use light paint colors on the exterior and interior of the building. The exterior light colors will reflect sunrays and as a result the interior of the building will remain cool reducing the need of air conditioners and such. Interior light colors will also help reflect the natural light, which will reduce the cost and need of electric lighting. Modern insulation systems can also be installed in walls and floors to use the energy efficiently. Building can be designed with passive solar building ways that uses windows and walls to help shade the property in summers and provide natural light in the winters. Other ways to use energy efficiently are solar power, hydropower and wind power etc.

Material Efficiency:

Using material that are recyclable and re-usable is an important part of sustainable building. It involves using natural materials such as straw bale, clay and bamboo for the construction or renovation of the building.

Waste Reduction:

Compost bins are a great way to reduce waste emission by the occupants or work force in a building. Waste reduction can also be achieved by recycling the waste into fertilizers. Use of water instead of paper towels can also reduce waste going in the landfills. Some highly sophisticated waste reduction techniques can also be applied, but they may be a little costly.

Green Construction – What and Why?

“Green construction” is the hottest term in construction right now, but what does it exactly mean? “The practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition” is how the Environmental Protection Agency defines it. Experts say that green construction is not only environment friendly but also has the additional perks of being healthier for ourselves and is highly cost effective as well. The term ‘sustainable development’ is also used for green construction meaning our use of the environment’s resources without jeopardizing its use for the future generations.

At the commercial and industrial level green construction may include anything ranging from water free urinals to making own electricity, but small home owners who would like to follow the path of green construction are often stumped about how to go about it. What can be installed and how much can it save? Who defines green anyway? These are the questions that we must provide answers to, to spread awareness about it.

This new concept has helped attend to one of the gravest threat that modern humanity is facing. The increasing population is consuming more and more resources which are bound to run out- and soon too if some check and balance is not maintained. There is only so much recycling and waste management that one can do. Bigger steps need to be taken and eliminating waste production during construction will be one such step. Green construction can be one step for man but it will be one giant leap for humanity. It is a powerful solution to our problems, but is still not being used to its full potential.

The green revolution is slowly but surely nesting itself in the construction industry like in all other areas of modern life. Today world awareness of global warming and environmental issues becoming common knowledge has made it mandatory for each and every individual to make an effort at his own level. Perhaps the easiest way to fulfill that responsibility is to adapt the habit of green construction at our homes. We do not need to go out there and fight a war against the big bad bullies of the petroleum industry; we can do the same quite effectively by starting with green construction in our own homes. More than ever the old saying, “charity begins at home” proves to be right, though nowadays this saying has more serious ramifications if not implemented.

Apart from personal responsibility, as awareness spreads green construction will become the convention as more and more rules and regulations supervising the protection of the environment are being implemented. The world of the future will be completely self-sustainable if the objectives of green construction are implemented in their true sense. To be precise the technology for it already exists, it is just a matter of implementing it which will be not only beneficial for the environment but will also help you economically as well as for your health.

What You Need to Know About Careers in Green Construction

Green construction jobs are becoming the norm in the contracting and construction industries, so to remain competitive construction professionals must expand their skill set in the green and eco-friendly building fields. More companies are opting to construct green buildings, with seventy percent of executives and developers making their firms part of sustainability programs for tax breaks and the benefit of reduced operating costs. Financial benefits like these are among the many reasons why green buildings are being built so frequently and why there is a demand for workers and contractors with sustainable construction skills and a familiarity with eco-friendly construction. But what do contractors, journeymen, and construction specialist need to know about working on green buildings?

Green Building Operational Categories

The diverse nature of green construction means that contractors, builders, and designers working in the industry must have an understanding of the following sub categories in green building:

Surveying and planning
Energy efficiency
water conservation
Indoor air quality
Onsite construction practices

Credentials & Certifications and who sets the standards

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a respected advocate for green construction and a nonprofit organization which created and maintains the standards used to rate buildings sustainability. The USGBC’s standards are a part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s (LEED) building rating system and by utilizing these standards the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) judges buildings against a LEED’s scorecard. Buildings looking for certification earn points in categories like energy efficiency and design and those categories listed above. If a building’s score is sufficient it is eligible to receive Silver, Gold, or Platinum LEED certification, and this certification is so respected that certain jurisdictions in the U.S. have made it a part of their building standards and codes.

Nationally the U.S. General Services Administration mandates that any and all major federal renovations and new construction projects meet the LEED Gold standards, while private developers pursue LEED certifications in order to broadcast their eco-friendly credentials. Though LEED is the standard in the United States, alternatives do exist, like the Green Building Initiative, which offers a comparable green construction certification. Still, some green construction certifications are better than others, with a few being more expensive and complex, requiring contractors, designers, and builders to do some research on them before applying.

Certifications for Professionals

The GBCI provides both building certifications while also accrediting professionals and contractors working in the green construction field. Also, LEED Accredited Professionals are eligible to work on projects where official LEED certification is pursued. These contractors can also already be working as a project’s architect or designer. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) created a certification specifically for construction supervisors, with the endorsement of the GBCI. Frontline construction managers can be certified under the LEED’s green building agenda on a project, by the project’s Sustainable Construction Manager.

Occupations and training for Green Construction

There are several national and local organization offering training for green construction trades in the US including the following:

The NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research):

A not-for-profit created to outline a standardized training module for green construction officially recognized as the industry standard by both the Green Building Certification Institute and U.S. Green Building Council.
Workers with existing proficiency in a trade looking to augment their resume with green building techniques skills should contact their local NCCER sponsor or employment and trade centers for training opportunities.

The Associated Builders and Contractors

The ABC has been heavily involved in developing green construction training programs for those looking to enter the industry with a respected certification.

Right now a background and training in green practices are essential for a specific occupation. But it is the engineers and the architects who require a substantial amount of training, education, and certification for skills specific to green construction. These specialists must turn to groups like the ABC, NCCER, LEED for guidance on their particular specialty. However, in many cases construction laborers might work differently on a green construction site, without the need for extensive specialized training. Specialty trade workers with proficiencies in installing things like energy and water efficient structures and appliances or those using new green techniques require additional training.