Green construction is not something that should scare construction industry participants. Particularly the people doing the work in the field. As the downturn in the economy has limited the number of new construction projects, industry participants should look to green construction, specifically green retrofit construction, for opportunities. (The U.S. Green Building Council issued this press release which announced that green retrofitting projects have outpaced new green construction projects).
Green construction should be an easy area for almost any construction industry participant to seek opportunities because it is essentially the same work as any other project with additional specifications that take the environment and resource management into consideration.
Green construction considers the materials and where they come from. For example, many green construction retrofit projects try to recycle materials from the existing structure for use on the finished project. This could include using demolished concrete from the original structure for fill material or as a base layer for a parking area on the final project.
Green construction also considers the environmental impact of the final project. These objectives can be met by including solar panels, capturing rainwater, or reusing certain wastewater.
Green construction really boils down to efficient use of materials, efficiently procuring materials, constructing an energy efficiency final project, and protecting the environment.
Over the past few years, construction industry participants have had personal lessons in being efficient. It is now time to take those lessons and convert them into work on projects that can include green construction.