posted on 10 Dec, 2014 | General News
The following is part two of the interview with John Bendon, Founding Principal. Read part one, about how and why John got into green building, here.
There’s a lot more availability of green products than there ever was – things are easier to get, they are cheaper to get, and there’s a lot more awareness than when we first started.
For example, when we were doing the Montessori project, it was really hard to find cabinets with no urea formaldehyde and now that’s the essentially the industry standard. Its the same with paints – it used to be hard to find paints with low or NO VOCs and now most paints are available that way.
There’s also been a huge burst of solar energy, when I started out there were many solar companies just starting up, and now that the grid is closing up there’s more focus again on energy efficiency.
One of the big changes is a focus on materials and having a better understanding of the life cycle costs, from sourcing to disposal. There’s also been huge advances in technology, for instance LED lighting, which started as really expensive and not great quality, and now you can go to your local hardware store and get really reasonable LED lights that are really high quality, making it more accessible to everyone. Also, we’ve seen more integration of smart home technology, with being able to monitor and adjust lighting and cooling and heating through your mobile devices.
Any advice for young people looking to get into green building?
Start by finding anyone that you can intern with – although there are limited opportunities in Hawaii so this would probably be something that may have to be done on the mainland. There is a wide range of fields in green building, from green energy to materials to sourcing to sustainability consulting, so figure out where your passions are taking you – you can have a green twist to almost anything that you do!
Tags: Green Building Trends, Green Building News, Green Building 2014, Green Building Hawaii
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