Greenbuild 2011 Roundup, Day 1: Green Jobs in Green Buildings, Net Zero Buildings & More

Greenbuild 2011 Roundup, Day 1: Green Jobs in Green Buildings, Net Zero Buildings & More

It's the end of day 1 of the main event at ggreenbuildexpo.org, being held this year in Toronto. The annual conference is the go-to event for all things pertaining to green buildings, facility management, the technologies that are making all kinds of structures smarter, and much more.

Our own Leslie Guevarra is braving the circus of Greenbuild this week, but because there's far more news than one person can cover, below is a roundup of some of the stories to emerge from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

• A Sustainability Dashboard for Buildings: Steve Ashkin, a longtime guru for green cleaning and green buildings, today launched a web-based service to let anyone track and manage sustainability programs. The Sustainability Dashboard tracks up to six categories including: energy, waste/recycling, water, transportation, consumables (such as office supplies) and cleaning products.

• Green Buildings Mean Green Jobs: A study from McGraw-Hill Construction looks at the number of green jobs in the building design and construction workforce, and finds that 35 percent of architects, engineers and contractors (AEC) report having green jobs today, representing 661,000 jobs. Also from the report is the projection that carpenters, electricians, HVAC workers and other trade jobs are expected to grow the fastest, rising to 25 percent of jobs in three years, from 15 percent today.

• Kohl's Becomes First to Land LEED-Gold Retail Precertification: Marking a large step forward for certifying large numbers of green buildings, department store chain Kohl's has earned precertification for a LEED-Gold prototype department store. The company, which has long been committed to green buildings, aims to have 300 stores built to that prototype by the end of 2012, and 500 built by the end of 2015.

• Living Buildings Certification Gains a Net-Zero Component: The International Living Future Institute has launched a Net Zero Energy Building Certification program, designed to recognize real-world achievements in maintaining a net-zero energy and emissions facility for at least 12 months.

• FSC Touts Innovative Green Buildings: As part of the ongoing battle between competing wood sustainability certifications FSC and SFI, the FSC today handed out praise to two buildings it calls the "most innovative" structures using FSC-certified wood: Winners are the 100 percent FSC-certified Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Research Lab and zHome, a 10-unit, 14,000 sq. ft. townhome development in a Seattle suburb.

• Owens Corning Earns First USDA BioPreferred Label: Owens Corning today announced that its EcoTouch insulation is the first fiberglass product to be certified under the USDA's new BioPreferred label as a bio-based product. The labeling initiative is an element of the U.S. Farm Bill that focuses on increasing the purchase and use of biobased products made from renewable agricultural materials