April 28th, 2010, 7:22 am

Build for Tomorrow, Today

We, as constructors of residential and commercial buildings in America, need to be more forward thinking in our approach to building. The practices that we have utilized for the last 40 years are outdated, wasteful, and detrimental to the environment. We need to focus on our role as builders of our society and what we can do to protect the earth’s natural resources by building responsibly.

I recently attended the Global Construction Summit in New York City which offered insights on building trends by leaders from 24 countries around the globe. The expert speakers and panelists ranged from the design, infrastructure, and construction sectors of the industry.

There should be a lot of optimism in the housing industry, according to David Wyss, Chief Economist at Standard and Poor’s. David explained how the housing market will rebound in 2011 and commercial building will rebound in 2012. As a whole, the economic forecast for the housing market is very encouraging. He presented these figures – read more…

April 23rd, 2010, 10:01 am

Green My Parents

This article was printed in the New York Times on Earth Day 2010, it is an amazing article by Allison Arieff. This program is worth advocating to the younger generation.

April 21, 2010, 9:00 pm
How to Green Your Parents

Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened. Earth Day brings people together for nice gatherings and noble efforts but has, for the most part, made sustainable action more of an annual event than a daily habit. We’ve got to change that.

Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. GMP’s initial goal is to have its first 100 youth advocates train and educate 100 peers (who will then turn to 100 of their respective peers and so on), with the aim of saving families $100 million between now and April 2011. Continue reading How to Green Your Parents »

April 19th, 2010, 12:36 pm

What exactly is “Green?”

Earth Day is fast approaching, and 2010 looks to be the year that we all have a more heightened awareness of our shared and personal environment. Some of us are going to buy a reusable shopping bag or eat organic food to celebrate our “greenness”, others are going to plant a vegetable garden or walk to the grocery store that day. These are all admirable gestures, however, we should set our goals much higher.

The term “green” is becoming overused in our daily life, from packaging of toilet paper, detergents, and light bulbs to the type of automobile we drive. We are in danger of becoming complacent because of the product advertising campaigns that influence our environmental awareness. We have to ask ourselves, are we doing enough?

What our society needs is an emotional attachment to the future of the planet. The world is leaning towards future sustainable and renewable sources to provide the energy that we have all become accustomed to. High speed rail is becoming the mode of transportation in many parts of the world. Healthy living and working environments are becoming essential for the workforce and families of today and tomorrow.

The White House is committed to setting an example for the rest of America to follow regarding our energy use. The Federal Government has tax credits available for those that need a financial incentive to do their part to help the environment. There is a 30% rebate available until 2016 for renewable or sustainable energy installed in your home. This investment automatically gives you at least a 30% return and you get free energy! We must educate our peers, families, and the younger generation on climate issues so they will be in a better position to make educated decisions regarding the future of our planet.

We can make a difference, Happy Earth Day!!

April 13th, 2010, 6:54 pm

2010 Global Construction Summit NYC

The 2010 Global Construction Summit, hosted by McGraw- Hill, was attended by leaders in the industry from around the globe. The 24 countries that were represented from around the world were in key global areas of development, construction, and infrastructure. Sustainable and renewable energy are major areas that are thriving in the present construction markets. An entire sustainable city , Masdar City, is currently being built in Abu Dahbi, AE. this is a prime example of the technology and building practices that are in place today. The London 2012 Olympic Village in London was explained by Dan Epstein, Olympic Delivery Authority, Head of Sustainable Development. The Olympic village and surrounding housing and commercial buildings  are being built entirely self sustainable, this is sure to motivate the world in to this “new way of thinking”.

Michelle Moore , Federal Environmental Executive, stated that the Federal Government has set some challenging goals for themselves. All Federal buildings will be “net zero” by 2020, which means they will be 100% sustainable. The Government has allocated $500 billion per year for this venture, they feel the savings on fossil fuels will offset this cost, the sustainability plan will be out by June 2010.

David A. Wyss, Chief Economist, Standard & Poor’s gave an incredible speech regarding last years recession, that’s right, last years. According to David, ” the recession ended in the 3rd quarter of 2009″ he went on to further point out that “we know its over, because it stopped getting worse”. He had numerous graphs and power-point demonstrations that were very insightful on the Global Economics, from where we have been, to where we are going. There are plenty of reason’s to be optimistic about the future of the Construction Industry, especially in the “green” building sector.

An interesting quote was given by Harold McGraw III in his closing statement, “……billions and trillions of dollars are being kicked around, WOW”.

A shortage of skilled workers is expected in the near future as the global workforce is aging, this sentiment was shared by Jim Dougan, President, PCL Constructors Canada, Inc. and Thor Geir Ramleth, CIO, Bechtel Group, Inc. There is a global concern about getting the younger generation excited about a future in the Construction Industry, it is up to the Industry leaders to make strides in this very concerning area, the higher technological advances in the Industry needs to be advocated to the emerging public.

There were many more exciting speakers at this event, I will update in the future.

Thank you McGraw-Hill for hosting such an informative Conference. #2010GCS

April 7th, 2010, 8:40 am

Welcome to the Future of Building

Hello all, this is my new blog, Today’s BLDG! I am thrilled to start writing about the future of green building technology and how we all can work towards building a better tomorrow, today.

This week, I will be attending the Global Construction Summit #2010gcs in New York City. I look forward to meeting many of you in person. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, send me an e-mail, davidzilar [at] todaysbldg.com, or leave your contact information in the comments below.

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David Zilar David Zilar is an expert consultant for high efficiency heating systems, indoor air quality, renewable energy, and sustainable building practices.

He lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife and daughter. He has worked in the Aspen and Vail area for 20+ years.