Each year I look forward to the Greenbuild International Conference
to provide the excitement and recharge I need to focus on and promote sustainable design and construction at PCL. Each conference leaves me exhausted yet strangely renewed, and there is always something to learn and take away from the educational sessions, summits, expo hall, colleagues, and of course, Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the US Green Building Council.
The use of solar power is seen here on one of
PCL’s jobsites in Bakersfield, California.
THE DOLLARS AND SENSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
This year, environmentalist and author Paul Hawken, along with accompanying presenters from Drawdown
, a coalition aimed at reducing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere, offered five solutions to tackle the growing issue of climate change. The five solutions can help reduce carbon in the atmosphere while positively affecting the world’s economy.
- Smart Glass – A glazing that changes light-transmission properties to control the amount of light (and heat) transmitted, which reduces the demands on HVAC and lighting.
- Rotational Grazing – A livestock-management technique that allows the soil to store 15x more carbon than if it were farmed industrially.
- LEDs – Light-emitting diodes are 10x more efficient than incandescent bulbs and reduce energy consumption.
- Solar Power – Through the use of renewable energy systems like solar photovoltaics (PVs), we reduce the demand on grid systems and associated carbon emissions.
- Educating Girls – With seven or more years of education, girls in the developing world will marry later and have fewer children, reducing population growth.
What I took away from the presentation is that there are many solutions to address the reduction of carbon and other greenhouse gases, and it is our responsibility to present these ideas on the projects we develop with our partners. Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, and as both an employee and owner, I am proud that PCL realizes the importance of making a positive impact on local communities and the environment.