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Fundamentals of Building Green

G|PRO Green Professional Building Skills Training


COPYRIGHT

DISCLAIMER

Copyright © 2014 by Urban Green Council, U.S. Green Building Council New York. All rights reserved.

None of the parties involved in the funding or creation of the Course Manual, including Urban Green Council, its members, or its contractors, assume any liability or responsibility to the user or to any third parties for the accuracy, completeness, or use of or reliance on any information contained in the Course Manual, or for any injuries, losses, or damages (including, without limitation, equitable relief arising from such use or reliance). Although the information contained in the Course Manual is believed to be reliable and accurate, all materials set forth within are provided without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties of the accuracy or completeness of information contained in the training or the suitability of the information for any particular purpose.

Urban Green Council devoted a significant amount of time and resources to create this GPRO® Course Manual for Fundamentals of Building Green, v2.0. Urban Green authorizes individual use of the Course Manual. In exchange for this authorization, the user agrees: đƫ to retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the Course Manual đƫ not to sell or modify the Course Manual đƫ not to reproduce, display, or distribute the Course Manual in any way for any public or commercial purpose, including display on a Web site or in a networked environment. Unauthorized use of the Course Manual violates copyright, trademark, and other laws and is prohibited. The text of the federal and state codes, regulations, voluntary standards, etc., reproduced in the Course Manual is used under license to Urban Green Council or, in some instances, in the public domain. All other text, graphics, layout, and other elements of content in the Course Manual are owned by Urban Green Council and are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws.

As a condition of use, the user covenants not to sue and agrees to waive and release the Urban Green Council, its members, and its contractors from any and all claims, demands, and causes of action for any injuries, losses, or damages (including without limitation, equitable relief) that the user may now or hereafter have a right to assert against such parties as a result of the use of, or reliance on, the Course Manual. Urban Green Council U.S. Green Building Council New York 20 Broad Street, Suite 709 New York, NY 10005

TRADEMARK GPRO® is a registered trademark of Urban Green Council.

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This initiative was made possible by the generous support of the Merck Family Fund and the New York Community Trust.

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FOREWORD What is Urban Green Council?

Urban Green Council is the New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Urban Green’s mission is to lead the advancement of sustainability in the urban built environment, through education, advocacy, collaboration, and research. Our vision is to see cities that coexist in harmony with their natural environment and contribute to the health and well-being of all. A nonprofit organization established in 2002, Urban Green is supported by contributions from members and sponsors, as well as foundation grants. Our focus is on New York City, Rockland and Westchester counties. Supported by our in-house experts and a dedicated network of volunteers, our efforts are transforming the metropolitan area and creating models that can be replicated elsewhere.

What is GPRO?

Urban Green Council developed GPRO: Green Professional Building Skills Training, in partnership with the Building Construction Trades Council (BCTC), the Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA), and the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE). Produced with more than 100 volunteers from local unions, contractors, and design professionals, along with the City University of New York (CUNY) and USGBC Upstate New York Chapter, this comprehensive training program is designed to respond to the building industry’s unique needs. It consists of a series of courses and certificate exams that teach the people who build, renovate, and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. Skilled workers will be positioned to work in accordance with new regulations and to meet the expectations of owners and tenants who want healthier, environmentally sustainable, and energy-efficient homes and offices.

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FOREWORD

The courses include a prerequisite, Fundamentals of Building Green, and a set of trade-specific courses. Currently, those trade-specific courses consist of Construction Management, Electrical Systems, HVACR, Operations & Maintenance Essentials, and Plumbing. Additional courses will be forthcoming. Applicants will receive a GPRO Certificate from Urban Green Council by passing an exam in their area of expertise. This certificate demonstrates that an individual understands green building as it applies to his or her trade and will enhance that person’s ability to compete for and participate in green jobs.

Who should take this course?

The GPRO training program is designed for experienced building professionals who seek to integrate green practices into the core knowledge of their trade. As such, the program materials and exam cover the “green gap” between standard trade skills and the new knowledge, awareness, and skills required to successfully implement green building. Individuals with experience in construction and building operations will have an advantage when taking the Fundamentals of Building Green course and in passing the certificate exam, but anyone with an interest in green building is encouraged to participate.

Urban Green Council Contact Information: Urban Green Council U.S. Green Building Council New York

www.gpro.org gpro@urbangreencouncil.org

20 Broad Street, Suite 709 New York, NY 10005 (212) 514-9385 www.urbangreencouncil.org

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CONTENTS Introduction

PART A: SUSTAINABILITY

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Sustainability What is Sustainability? We Rely on the Environment Your Role in Sustainability

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2:

Challenges in Our Use of Natural Resources Water Air Fossil Fuels Waste Natural Resources Going Forward

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Environmental Successes Preservation & Conservation Movements Environmental Disasters Spur Action Advocacy and Regulation Successes A New Way Forward

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Climate Change The Global Climate What Causes Climate Change? What are the Impacts? We Can Solve It!

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PART B: GREEN BUILDING

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The Benefits of Green Building What is a Green Building? How Does Green Building Benefit You?

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Green Building Characteristics Green vs. Conventional Buildings The Whole-Building Approach Green Building is a Team Effort

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CONTENTS

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Measure Building Performance Benchmarking Codes Standards Green Building Rating Systems Strengthening Codes & Standards What’s Next in this Course?

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Create Sustainable Sites Goal Problems to Solve Green Building Strategies Your Role in Sustainable Sites

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Reduce Water Use Goal Problems to Solve Green Building Strategies Your Role in Water Efficiency

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Manage Energy Efficiently Goal Problems to Solve Green Building Strategies Your Role in Energy Efficiency

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Reuse & Recycle Materials Goal Key Terms Problems to Solve Green Building Strategies Your Role in Materials Use

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Build Healthy Indoor Environments Goal Problems to Solve Green Building Strategies Your Role in Indoor Environmental Quality

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Conclusion

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Photo & Figure Source Credits

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Glossary

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Thank You

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i.1: Any type of building can be green. Ordinary-looking buildings can be sustainable — Cebula Hall at Saint Martin's University, WA (top left), has the highest LEED rating in the U.S., and the Lazarus Building, OH (bottom right) is certified LEED Gold. Even old and famous structures, such as the Cambridge City Hall Annex, MA (top right) and the Empire State Building, NYC (bottom left), can be retrofitted with sustainable features.

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INTRODUCTION

Everyone Benefits From Green Building

Welcome to Urban Green Council’s core course, Fundamentals of Building Green. This is your first step in the GPRO training and certificate program for trades, contractors, and building operators. The goal of this course is to help you understand the basics of sustainability and green building.

đƫ How we can apply environmental success stories

Sustainability and green building have become essential business practices in almost every industry. These practices balance the environmental, economic, and social needs of all parties, from the suppliers of building materials and contractors to residents and workers who will use the building for years to come. In today’s world, owners demand higher performing, green buildings.

đƫ The differences between green and conventional

A green building eliminates the wasteful use of materials, water, and energy, improves the health and productivity of workers and occupants, and increases the lifetime and performance of building systems. As you will see throughout this course, there are many benefits to building green. Green building contributes to economic growth, with the number of green building projects growing every year. Similarly, job opportunities for construction trades, contractors, and building operators who understand the sustainable practices in their field are growing. Having the knowledge and training required to be a skilled green tradesperson is no longer optional — it is necessary. Green building not only boosts our economy with new jobs and projects, it also creates healthier spaces for the building team and building occupants, while at the same time, conserving our natural resources and protecting the environment. In this course, you will learn what makes a building sustainable and what you can do on the job to maximize the benefits of building green. Specifically, at the end of this course you will know: đƫ How sustainability affects you and future

generations.

đƫ How construction pollution and use of resources in

buildings affect our environment and health.

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from the past to today’s environmental challenges.

đƫ The causes of climate change, how it affects

everyone, and the building industry’s role in reducing the impacts.

buildings and how building green benefits you.

đƫ How the industry measures building performance

through standards and rating systems.

đƫ How your work practices can help a green building

meet its goals.

đƫ How to use new construction and operation

strategies and techniques for more sustainable buildings.

đƫ How to apply green work practices to your specific

role in pollution prevention, water conservation, commissioning of key building systems, waste management, and improving indoor air quality.

At the end of this manual, we provide you with a glossary to help you understand important definitions and abbreviations. Words listed in bold italics can be found in the glossary. On completion of this course, you will have two options. You can either take the Fundamentals of Building Green exam or take the appropriate trade-specific course to learn how sustainability applies to your everyday work. After you pass either the Fundamentals or trade-specific GPRO exam, you will receive a GPRO certificate. Working towards a GPRO certificate and committing to green work practices is an important contribution to sustainability. Each one of us can make a difference in preserving the Earth’s resources for future generations, and together we can make a significant impact. All of us will benefit by building green together. Thank you for being a leader in the construction industry’s transition to a sustainable economy!

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Part A SUSTAINABILITY

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WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY?

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Sustainability is the capacity to thrive long-term without using up resources. It means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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SUSTAINABILITY

A sustainable world is one that is healthy and productive, and provides opportunities and economic security for people and their families. This course will focus on how sustainable construction and building operations practices will lead to more jobs, save money, make people healthier, and preserve the environment.

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1.1: Sustainability + Design + Construction + Operation + Deconstruction = Green Building

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

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WE RELY ON THE ENVIRONMENT Everything we need for survival comes from our environment. Environmental systems provide the resources for human life: plants and algae, powered by the sun, create the oxygen we need to breathe and absorb pollutants from the air. Soil purifies our water. Plants and animals provide us with food, and insects pollinate the plants. The sun provides the energy that makes this all happen. We can only exist in a cooperative relationship with nature. Sustainability is the key to balancing human activity with the health of the environment on which we depend. For much of human history, we assumed that we could consume the earth’s resources, discharge our wastes into rivers and lakes, and dump our excess garbage into landfills wherever and whenever it was convenient. Because there were fewer of us, the impacts were modest. However, as the world’s population has increased to over

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SUSTAINABILITY

SUSTAINABILITY IS EVERYWHERE We see interest in sustainability in all aspects of modern life. Cities as varied as New York City and Chattanooga, Tennessee are creating citywide policies to promote sustainability. Government agencies and programs, such as the Federal Energy Management Program and the Armed Forces, are implementing cutting-edge green technologies in their operations. Thousands of companies, including Microsoft and Nike, report on their environmental programs to the public. Elementary schools are teaching students about recycling, energy conservation, and growing food. Sustainability is now a fundamental part of the way we live.

seven billion, and our use of energy and resources has exploded, the impacts have become global and impossible to avoid. 1.2: Rivers provide us with clean water, air, food, recreation, and more.

Some communities in the U.S. now have historically high asthma rates and contaminated drinking water. Deadly heat waves, floods, and droughts are commonplace occurrences. These problems affect energy, water, and food prices. If these problems are not addressed soon, our children and grandchildren won’t have the essential resources they need to survive.

YOUR ROLE IN SUSTAINABILITY We cannot continue our current unsustainable practices. For our own survival, society needs to balance current and future human needs with the long-term health of the earth’s environment. Maintaining a healthy environment is critical to ensuring a prosperous society. We can all help build a more sustainable economy by understanding the importance of this balance. Many individuals,

businesses, and governments around the world are already altering their old approach to development and learning to meet their needs more sustainably. The construction, real estate, and other building-related industries are essential to ensuring sustainable economic and environmental systems for current and future generations. This course will teach you how sustainability applies specifically to your trade. One last thing: “sustainability” may sound like a theoretical idea, but it means more jobs for working Americans. All the strategies we will describe to reduce the human impact on the environment will involve work such as improving building envelopes, installing more energyand water-efficient building systems, and managing our use of energy and materials more effectively. The construction industry is transitioning to sustainability, the jobs to achieve these goals already exist, and tradespeople who are ready to embrace new ways of constructing and operating buildings will find they have a significant advantage in the job market.

TEST YOURSELF: 1. What is the definition of sustainability? 2. How do humans rely on the environment? 3. How will the transition to sustainability impact the

job market and economy?

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Sample Chapter: GPRO Fundamentals of Building Green