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Overlooked Green Jobs in Sustainable Retrofitting

I run into many people taking a breather in between jobs and using the opportunity to reinvent themselves.  Many are looking for ways to use their skill sets more passionately, and a top way to do that is by “going green”.

I attended a monthly clean tech / green energy networking event last week and expected it to be standing room only.  I was surprised to find many empty seats.  It was on sustainable building.  A colleague told me this same subject was sparsely attended many months ago as well.  This is surprising, as there are HUGE opportunities for those not only building green, but for those looking at the 90% of buildings in the United States that will not be replaced anytime soon, but will need to be “retrofitted” in green!

If you are looking for a way to more passionately engage with your work and feel the calling to green, consider some of the many arenas expanding around sustainable building retrofitting:  solar; wind; water usage; waste; caulking; lighting; HVAC; window technology; energy company partnering; LEED compliance; carbon emissions; data centers; policy compliance; cultural change management; influencing stakeholders; design; planning software; transportation; material sourcing; new materials technology; recycled materials; construction process; collaborative process; removing cost-barriers to green; navigating various programs and funding options; and all the support services that go along with these arenas.

Particularly in construction there will be great need to shift the common paradigm from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, to embracing new technology, materials, and the collaborative process.  The big companies who embrace the cutting edge are making this shift now with great advantage on new construction.  Job seekers should open their eyes to the many opportunities that will come as green retrofitting picks up momentum.

Valerie Fahs-Thatcher


2 Responses

  1. I attended an MIT sustainability conference where a seminar on European green infrastructure focused much more heavily on restoring historic buildings in a green fashion. It involved the use of far less materials and energy, and so generated far less waste and CO2, and the results were buildings that every community cherished and used appropriately.
    My hometown of Brookline, MA has an old school building which has been reused so many times that I believe even the town officials have lost count. Right now, it is hosting a novel production of MacBeth with the American Repertory Theatre.

  2. Great article.thax

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