Whether you are a smart investor looking to retro-fit your own home or office, the owner of a construction company meeting new client demands, or an employee looking for new opportunities, the trend for green construction and eco-friendly jobs in the United States will be very much on the rise throughout 2015 and beyond, not just because of new environmental regulations but also due to increased buyer concern for a healthier environment, both inside buildings and out.
While specific definitions of the green building concept are still being clarified, it is safe to say that environmental criteria related to climate change and energy use issues will top the bill, along with water quality and conservation as well as air quality. So, forward planning in building projects is essential today.
Nationwide, new building concepts are linked to improving the interiors of buildings to reduce dependence on fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as well as improving energy efficiency and waste management. It is estimated that between now and 2030, 75% of the buildings in the U.S. will either be new or substantially rehabilitated. This calls for a future-forward, holistic approach, which requires retooling and rethinking how buildings function within the environment.
However, this is all excellent news for American companies and workers, and provides a fantastic opportunity for the entrepreneur due to the increase in jobs which will both be financially rewarding as well as being difficult to outsource.
Newly-styled ‘green-collar’’ jobs, will range from the lower-skilled and entry-level jobs to extremely well paid, high-skill positions. Some of these positions are still relatively new, such as solar panel fabricators and installers or energy auditors, but many more traditional jobs may take on a greener hue as welders fabricate wind turbines, and construction crews learn to recycle building materials.
In construction, this will mean many retrofitting jobs to make buildings more energy efficient, the recycling of building materials and an expansion of demand for non-toxic and energy-efficient materials and techniques, which will also mean new jobs in ‘Green Chemistry’ – the process of designing out environmental and human health hazards in the lifecycle of a product.
There will also be an increased demand for environmental engineers and scientists at the forefront of experimenting, with ways buildings and industry can make urban life less destructive to the environment, such as creating new recycling plants or reducing air and water pollution from those which already exist. Industrial engineers will also be sought to improve efficiency in factories and housing developments, especially by finding ways to streamline processes so that there is less waste.
As new environmental regulations are introduced and construction companies are expected to conform to them at federal, state and local levels, specifically trained inspectors will be required, electricians will be needed to upgrade existing buildings and energy sources, and carpenters called on to install recycled materials and new products.
So, while we may rightly worry about the environment, eco-friendly jobs are most assuredly going to help many clever Americans people find sustainable employment now and long into the future.