The Green New Deal Explained
Wikipedia states it thus: “The Green New Deal is a set of proposed economic stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address climate change and economic inequality”. Pretty good goals wouldn’t you say?
Data for progress states it this way: “A Green New Deal is necessary to meet the scale and urgency of environmental challenges facing the United States, based on the best available research. A Green New Deal can bring job growth and economic opportunity, with particular focus on historically disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.” Wow! Can we really pull this off? Data for progress follows up by stating: “A Green New Deal is financially feasible and necessary”
It is my opinion that it’s about time that the human race became aware of the importance of creating a socio economic system that is compatible with the ways of nature, a different way of saying “sustainable”
As a residential Construction Project Manager and Owner’s Agent it has been my vocation to be a green builder my entire professional life. In the 1970’s when I started work as a project manager in custom home construction, what was available as “green” (before the term green building was coined), was solar heating. Architects I worked with experimented with designs incorporating passive solar techniques such as south facing windows and thermal mass in walls and floors. Some were very successful, some we troublesome. And some were overdone, which you can still see where some homes have to have curtains or blinds drawn permanently.
These were valiant efforts at saving energy. These early green building ideas have evolved to now include better insulation, air-tightness, and high-efficiency equipment. Most practical green building techniques have become incorporated into building codes in progressive areas of this country, especially California. A good Construction Project Manager needs to be aware of, and be knowledgeable of, these techniques which are required in order to put together a true quality building.
Back to the Green New Deal: What does it include that a good construction project manager or Owner’s agent should know? Plenty. The following words are in the energy efficiency section of the green new deal: “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification”
Buildings and homes in the United States are responsible for approximately 34% of energy consumption, and therefore carbon output. The woeful truth is that the majority of buildings and homes are older and were not built to the new green or energy efficient standards we strive for now. There is a tremendous amount oof work that can be done to improve these buildings and homes to improve their performance. This work will have to be done by humans, no threat of robots taking over this field of work.
It is my hope that this Green New Deal will get some traction and that by theme the next administration comes around, much of the physical and intellectual resources of this country will be put to work attempting to put the efforts of humanity towards keeping this planet the wonderful place it has taken 3.5 million years to develop.