What is “Green,” Really?
by Terry Bumgarner
The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) continues working for its members through continuing education. I believe it is time for us to think “green.”
Breaking the Code
If you live or build in a coastal or high-wind area, you might need some help understanding the codes that apply in your region. The AMD industry standards and certification committee along with AMDs’ code consultant, Sarah A. Rice, C.B.O. of Schirmer Engineering Corp., continue to work diligently on codes for its members.
This collaboration helps keep builders and installers up-to-date on all codes, especially pertaining to the installation of windows and doors. AMD is becoming a respected authority in the ever-changing world of codes. The next challenge may be with “green building.”
When I attended a meeting with builders and retailers a few months ago, someone asked the question: “What is a green house?” There were some ideas; however, to my surprise no one at the meeting was able to give a full or complete answer.
More recently, I was in Phoenix, Ariz., for the AMD Top Management Leadership Conference and the topic came up again. At that time, it became apparent to me that it was time to learn more about being “green.”
The Green Building Certification is a point-based system. Based on the amount of points a building accumulates will depend on the level of “green” that it will be certified. The accumulation of points determines your qualification for a “green building.”
The Certification Levels
There are four certification levels—platinum, gold, silver and certified.
I have compiled a few examples that will give you some insight into how to achieve points in the green building certification process.
• Materials made of recycled material – achieve points.
• Locations left in their natural surroundings, undisturbed as much as possible – achieve points.
• Energy-efficient, Energy Star® ratings that are on numerous products – achieve points.
• Water and sewer efficient (rainwater to irrigate or for toilet usage) – achieve points.
• Proximity to shopping or work; the ability to walk or bike – achieve points.
• Increased use of daylight and ventilation – achieve points.
There must be a thousand ways to achieve points toward having a green building. The following sources are some that I have used and recommend for learning more about what can be considered “green.”
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (http://www.greenbuildingservices.com/) performs certification reviews of project applications for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is a voluntary consensus based on a national standard for developing high performance, sustainable (green) buildings. Along with Green Building Solutions (http://www.greenbuildingsolutions.org/) as our ever-changing world evolves, it is becoming increasingly important for us to educate ourselves on these very important environmental issues. I hope to learn more about “green” with the help of AMD and its membership.
Almost all tradesmen, distributors and manufacturers have an association they can join. I encourage everyone to become part of a group, as there is a world of information to help you become better at what you do in business. I have personally found that I receive so much more by being involved with AMD than I give. Rewards are there for the taking, so get involved in your own local, state, national or international association.
The fact that you are reading SHELTER magazine indicates that you already have an interest in improving yourself and the way you do business. Take it a step further. Get Involved!
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