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Green Buildings


In the United States, buildings account for 40% of total energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, 13 % of water use, and 160 million tons per year of construction and demolition (C&D) debris (1). With the growing recognition of these environmental and other impacts, coupled with federal and state policies and incentives, the green building market has grown exponentially for the last several years. Specifically, the green building market has expanded five fold over the last three years to a $39 to $48 billion national market in 2008 and is projected to triple in the next five years. (2)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a green building is defined as, “the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction (3).” With the continued goals focused on increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, new building codes and standards may increasingly require that new construction and renovation projects of existing buildings adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, considered the preeminent green building rating system in the U.S. Further, the Department of Energy is currently working to create technologies and design approaches that enable net-zero energy buildings at low costs by 2020 for residential buildings and 2025 for commercial buildings. (4)

Some of the jobs may require some changes in skills and competencies, but at this time, it is not expected that the growing market will create new and or unique occupations. Education and training needed for these occupations will also vary, with some professional positions requiring a college degree, while construction trades positions may only need some technical training. Many community colleges are adapting existing traditional construction trades programs and curricula to train workers for green building design, renovation, and construction and for some, help them gain credentials such as LEED AP or LEED Green Associate from the U.S. Green Building Council. (7)

Presentations from previously offered SAGE Workshops on Green Building and LEED Design can be found below. If you would like more information, handouts from those workshops, or different formats of the presentations, please contact us.

LEED Part 1

LEED Part 3

LEED Part 2

SAGE Bristol,
Dec 1, 2011, 9:03 AM