The program isn’t just about putting ENERGY STAR® labeled appliances ENERGY STAR® for New Homes, lights and equipment in a building. It starts at the studs. Actually, it starts at the slab. So it requires that field staff be trained in new, albeit quite simple, building practices – from framing and insulation details to the sealing of gaps and holes.
It’s a lot of little things that add up to a more air-tight, energy-efficient building envelope. And if Project Managers and Site Superintendents don’t buy into it, and subcontractors and laborers aren’t trained and supervised to do it, it simply won’t happen. Trying to meet the standards of the ENERGY STAR for New Homes program after the drywall is up can be extremely difficult, not to mention costly.
The key to delivering meaningful, cost-effective green building results lies in the company culture. The development/construction team should be driven by a sense of pride in their work. Whether mandated by governments or demanded by the market, green building will never be feasible if it is merely a specification. It must start with the people who are in the trenches, making buildings happen every day.
Make the investment in your team – even your subcontractors – to learn more about green building techniques.
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. No travel, no lost time out of the office, and no cost. Here’s a link to their real estate workshop series: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=comm_real_estate.bus_comm_realestate_workshop
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) also offers online courses and webinars for everyone from beginners to people whose goal is to complete LEED credential requirements. Check it out here: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=2332