Green buildings receive a lot of positive attention these days. The green building paradigm – lower to net-zero energy and water consumption, healthy indoor environment, connection to nature – is increasingly winning recognition and support with the public and the government. On the economic side, green buildings are projected to make a big portion of all new construction and retrofits.
According to a study by USGBC and Booz Allen Hamilton, between 2000 and 2008, green construction supported more than 1 million workers. USGBC projected that this figure will grow to 3.3 million by 2013. Even after the housing market crash of 2007-2009, as the demand for traditional construction dropped, green building was enjoying growth.
All in all, green building can be considered a blessing for the building industry. Workers displaced by the decline in the traditional construction sector could move to green construction, but they need retraining. Governmental policies, financial incentives, regulations, public support can do little without availability of skilled workforce.
According to the assessment of the International Labor Office, the growth of the green building sector is greatly hindered by the lack of skills.
Traditional occupations will need to learn new skills to be able to properly implement green strategies in buildings. There is also a growing demand for wholly new occupations, such as energy efficiency analyst.