Green Construction – what is it about?
Green construction or green building is a growing trend in the construction industry that focuses on building structures that have minimal impact on the environment. It is a kind of sustainable building that refers to a process of building and usage of materials that are environmentally friendly. Green construction implies not just following environmentally safe processes but also using materials and resources that cause no ecological harm. The whole process is designed in a way to guarantee environmental responsibility not only during the process but throughout the life-cycle of the structure.
From the initial planning and design stages to fabrication, maintenance, renovation and even destruction, the complete process ensures usage of readily available and recycled products causing minimum waste generation. All the professionals including the contractor, planners, draftsmen, engineers, architectural drafting and the owner of the project are involved at every stage.
The Green Building methodology is targeted for all good reasons including:
- Saving energy
- Making efficient use of land
- Preventing water wastage
- Making the best use of the available resources
- Reducing carbon footprint
- Harmonizing with natural environment
During the whole process, it is ascertained that factors like economy, practicality, resilience and comfort are kept in mind and not compromised. These building designs and processes greatly reduce effects on the environment like pollution and wastage of non-renewable resources.
Main Features of Green Construction
- Resource management
The resources used in building construction are not inexhaustible. So there is a stringent need for proper resource management. The amount of materials disposed of to reach the landfills should be minimized. The remaining usable material can be diverted towards the other under-construction projects to be utilized in them. Sustainable building materials which are renewable and have a low carbon footprint such as bamboo, recycled steel and natural stone can be used.
- Using energy-efficient technologies
This includes using high-efficiency HVAC systems, insulation and lighting as well as incorporating solar panels or wind turbines.
- Focus on healthy indoor environments
Green construction emphasizes on creating healthy indoor environments for occupants. It can be achieved by using non-toxic building materials, incorporating provisions for natural light and proper ventilation and ensuring high air quality in the interiors. By concentrating on creating healthy indoor environments, the well-being of occupants can be ensured.
- Using pre-fabricated components
Following modern methods of construction such as modular construction can result in reduced material wastage. In this method, a structure is not fully constructed on-site, rather larger components are prefabricated at a dedicated setting which is an off-site facility. Prefabricated components are thus transported to the installation site for assembly.
Career in Green Construction
Green Construction presents great opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing it as a career. There is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in green building design, construction and maintenance.
As per your specialization and interest, you can target on the following career options in the green construction sector:
- Green Building Consultant: The job of a green building consultant includes working with the builders, architects and property owners during the design process. They have to suggest measures for ensuring energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality maintenance.
- Sustainable Design Architect: A sustainable design architect has the qualification and experience in designing buildings with high level of energy efficiency and low carbon footprint. They have to make sure that the building plan incorporates the use of green building materials, technologies and methodologies.
- LEED Accredited Professional: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED is a certification recognized globally for sustainable design and construction of structures. LEED Accredited Professionals have to sugest measures to the builders, architects and property owners for achieving LEED certification for their buildings.
- Green Building Contractor: The job profile of a contractor includes choosing building materials, finalizing technologies and construction techniques. A green building contractor has to make this process energy-efficient and environment friendly.
- Sustainability Manager: A sustainability manager is responsible for implementing strategies that are sustainable, monitoring the use of energy, water and other resources and waste disposal.
- Renewable Energy Specialist: A renewable energy specialist has to ensure usage of renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power into building designs. They can suggest measures for enhancing feasibility and cost-effectiveness of renewable energy systems.
- HVAC Engineer: to ascertain that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems fixed in the structure are energy-efficient, an HVAC engineer has to use his designing and installation skills. They have to ensure that the specific energy requirements of a building are fulfilled.
According to experts, the area of green construction is growing exponentially and it offers numerous opportunities for jobs in this sector. In the coming time, more and more structures will be designed and built adhering to the green standards. According to the experts, the losses due to the recent economic recession will be shortly recovered by utilizing the benefits of this new trend.
Qualified job aspirants with a bachelor’s degree and experience in construction such as architects and civil engineers will be able to secure jobs in green building design. They can even learn about construction and trade occupations through on-the-job training and apprenticeship.
By obtaining relevant education or training in sustainable building design, renewable energy or environmental science, you can acquire a job in the industry and have a bright future. In addition, job aspirants can acquire hands-on experience by working in related fields such as architecture, engineering, project management and alike as a trainee. One has to stay updated regarding the latest industry trends and certifications introduced in the area. Build connections with professionals in the field and keep looking for industry events in your area to explore to learn about the latest job opportunities.
In conclusion, you can make a rewarding career in the green construction industry. Whether you are looking for a designation in building design, construction, management or renewable energy, the green construction industry has a lot to offer.