Study aims to clarify green building practices and trends

The future may be green, but for the present the construction industry needs to know just what that means and how to go about achieving it.

That’s the thinking behind a new CSC study that has industry stakeholders talking about what’s involved when it comes to environmentally friendly building practices.

Among the findings in Green Sustainable Building in Canada: Implications for the Commercial and Residential Construction Workforce is that “greenwashing” – a tendency to label many products and services “green” – has contributed to an unclear definition and a lack of clear standards when it comes to environmentally friendly building practices.

Participants suggested that more needs to be done to inform and educate the general public, and to provide incentives and guidance that will demystify and encourage green building.

They also said having the right technical skills related to installing or building with green materials is not as much of a concern as is the need for more knowledge and awareness about green-site practices such as recycling, waste management and other considerations that limit damage to the environment.

They would like to see more resources and information such as workshops and on-site orientation to help educate the workforce about green building. Though private companies, post-secondary institutions and governments offer training and certification programs, which a large majority of respondents said they would find useful, many did not know these options were available.

Last year, owners, managers, contractors and administrators from all regions of Canada completed CSC’s survey and provided answers to interview questions. From their on-the-ground experience came this ground-breaking study. Check it out on the CSC’s website at www.csc-ca.org.

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