Sustainable, or green construction is becoming the new normal in the construction world. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, it estimates green construction will account for one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector.
But what is green construction?
Kevin Connors, Architect and Principal of Eco_logic Studios in the Tri-Main Building says it's taking all the parts that make a building more eco-friendly. Like figuring out the air-flow of a building for optimal insulation or using recycled materials to create energy saving buildings from all aspects of the structure.
"It's like putting on a jacket and then not zipping it up," Connors adds. "To get to that level with buildings it just takes a different mindset."
Connors and his team work on all sorts of buildings, including the design for the solar-powered carousel coming to Canalside in 2020. The Buffalo Heritage Carousel is recreating a Herschel Spillman Carousel from the 1920s. Eco-logic was awarded the task of designing the building the carousel will be held in.
"It's a really precious artifact and so we want the building to help people to appreciate that and for people to understand how it works," Connors said. Tesla solar-panels will power the entire ride.
Sustainable construction workers make an average of $40-50 thousand a year with a high school education.
"Every field needs to have people who understand sustainability," David Lanfear, a sustainable contractor said.
On February 14th of this year, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed a new local law with the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy Program) that provides low-cost, long-term financing for clean energy upgrades to commerical buildings.
"This is just one way county government can lead in promoting renewable energy," Poloancarz said.
The program will give companies 100 percent financing for clean energy improvements like efficient lighting, insulation and air-sealing, efficient heating and cooling systems, and solar electronics. Projects will be approved by NYSERDA.
- There's a wide range of specific jobs within the green construction industry; project management, construction, and design.
Jobs in Green Construction:
- Account for 1/3rd of U.S. Construction Sector
- $50,000 starting
- Education: construction workers need basic education but architects need four year college degree
- Job Titles: architects, construction managers, carpenters, contractors
Sustainable Construction Companies in WNY:
-Eco_Logic Studios, Green Earth Construction, Buffalo Modular Homes