At a time when practically every conversation focuses on the economy, more than 40,000 attendees are scheduled to go to Boston this week to share ideas about sustainability. Greenbuild has quickly grown from a quaint conference into a must-attend international event.
I'm not surprised. People feel the world is in the throws of a painful experience. And to help correct these wrongs they want to find succor in their work. Jobs in which we design, build, and manage sustainable structures are not only becoming worthy professions, they also offer a sense of involvement.
It's time for all of us to find ways to incorporate sustainability into our operations. And it's not that hard. Many of us already lead each meeting with a discussion of safety. So why not discuss sustainability for a few minutes?
We all can learn from the example set by the ACI leadership earlier this month at its convention in St. Louis. It was a refreshing act of inspiration. ACI choose the venue to announce it was creating a new technical committee, ACI 130, Sustainability of Concrete, as described in the press mention in this newsletter.
But more impressive was the leadership's attempt to drive sustainability to all participants. Each committee chairman was directed to begin each meeting with a discussion of how its document supported concrete's important role in creating a more sustainable world.
For my committees, the effort was easy. At 221-Aggregates, we spoke about the need to develop procedures that could eventually accept more marginal reserves or recycled aggregate. At 548a-Polymer Overlays, the group discussed the increasing use of coatings with lower VOCs.
At 237 - Self-consolidating Concrete, leaders mentioned how the material will reduce labor and jobsite energy use, providing the project a lower carbon footprint. At 555 - Recycled Materials, the group felt vindicated in knowing that its message of reuse is finally going mainstream at ACI.
We also are committed, as we publish the GreenSite column every month. Managers can easily use it to lead a five-minute discussion on a new green idea.
The concrete production industry is one of the safest places to work in the nation. By discussing green building and sustainability every day with your employees, the industry can also demonstrate passion for making the world a better place.