What is EcoBuilding?

EcoBuilding is building in a way that makes sense. It requires an integrated approach and a consideration of the whole building, the whole site and the people impacted by that site and that building.

- Jason Lear, Batt & Lear Construction

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Technical Flash Cards Library

Now under active development, this open source library of green building technical flash cards will provide best construction practices FREE to contractors, subcontractors, and the DIY person to ensure a better resource and energy efficient future.

Browse the Technical Flash Cards online library, now under active development.

The single largest hindrance to the broad uptake of green building is the current lack of job training in its specific techniques. Current thinking on green job training is primarily addressing those individuals in the construction trades who are currently out of work or who are considering a future in construction. The builders and trades people that are currently working in today’s housing recession should be the primary focus of Green building training. This same group often does not have the time or the money to go back to school.

As of 2008, single family green buildings in WA State represented 16% of the overall new construction market, well ahead of the national average (5%). In addition, WA Initiative 937 and recently passed legislation set particularly aggressive goals for energy efficiency, along with federal stimulus funding for expanded community weatherization programs. These initiatives are creating a great demand for broad industry training in both new and retrofit buildings.

As any experienced builder will tell you, the one reason a building will fail to meet higher standards will be incorrect implementation.  This is the weak link in delivering the higher standards of green building. The Question is how do we train our existing construction labor force, where most workers learn informally and on the job, and have many different learning styles, languages, and even levels of literacy?

Example TFCThe NW EcoBuilding Guild Board feels that the best training resource will make the right information widely available, easy to access, and conveyed with a variety of text, language, detail drawings, photos and video of real demonstrations. First and foremost, this knowledge should be free. Second, this knowledge can support any existing trainings, certifications, or rating systems, but it should not be controlled by any particular rating system or company for profit.

To this end, The Northwest Ecobuilding Guild (NWEBG) is creating an Open Source library of Technical Flash Cards (TFCs) of green building techniques for residential and light commercial new construction, remodeling, and retrofit. This online TFC Library will be made available through an intuitive web interface here on our website, where they can also be printed in combinations and groups as needed by site superintendants, subcontractor leads, and trainers.

The TFC Library is now under active development. To get involved or learn more contact TFC Coordinator Tom Balderston at TFC@ecobuilding.org.

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