By John R. Gentille
Special to CONTRACTOR
We have reachedan exciting juncture in the mechanical construction and service industry: Each of us has the opportunity to make a real differencen the world for this generation and generations to come. As Mechanical Contractors Association of America President Dave Kruse noted in March at MCAA's convention, we can do this by making a commitment to green and sustainable building construction.
To that end, MCAA is channeling its resources toward helping its members continue their evolution into cuttingedge green mechanical contractors. It's a bold effort to secure our industry's future, with far-reaching benefits to our environment and contractors' businesses. MCAA is making this commitment for several reasons:
• Considering the environmental impact of their decisions is a core value of our members' businesses, industry manufacturers and suppliers and industry's next generation workforce.
• Environmental trends are changing the face of our industry. Buildings are becoming more energy efficient to address climate change, and water scarcity is becoming a driving force in plumbing and mechanical businesses. Our industry will be at the absolute forefront of helping society achieve its conservation goals.
• Green building makes economic sense for our members. Public and private owners are turning from a shortsighted view of upfront construction costs to an analysis of life-cycle costs. They are finding the long-term savings far exceed the upfront investment to incorporate green building features.
• Owners may not have a choice but are being required to build green. The General Services Administration, cities signing on to the Mayors 2030 Challenge and a growing list of other entities are mandating green buildings. Selling green to owners will become less of an issue, and the ability to deliver and maintain green buildings will become an increasingly valuable asset.
This is not to say that being a green mechanical contractor will be easy, or without risk. It is an ever-changing field. That is where MCAA can help by providing information and resources.
MCAA has developed the green building programs that follow and is working on other programs and services to meet evolving member needs.
‘Catching the Next Wave'
MCAA's first green conference, "Catching the Next Wave: Seizing the Green Opportunities that Lie Ahead," will give participants real-world-tested tips and techniques for working in this new era for our industry. The conference will take place Sept. 24-26 at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.
During the conference, designed for principals, senior management, business development managers, project managers and sales engineers, participants will explore developing green market segments and the implications for mechanical construction, plumbing and service. They also will learn:
• How to profit from green opportunities while avoiding costly mistakes;
• How the green building rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is governed and how it is evolving;
• How their businesses will need to change to be industry leaders in this market; and
• The answers to questions on how their business plan and corporate culture need to change, what new skills and abilities they will need to develop in their company and how to market their company's new capabilities.
Featured speakers will include:
• Paul Von Paumgartten of Johnson Controls on "The Evolution of the High Performance Green Building Movement";
• Tom Hicks of the U.S. Green Building Council on "Future Trends in Green and Sustainability";
• Jerry Yudelson of Yudelson Associates on "Branding and Positioning Your Green Building Offering";
• David Allen of McKinstry Co. on "What are the Emerging Markets?";
• Chuck Gaziano of McKenney's Inc. on "Commissioning (LEED-NC)";
• Jim Allen of Sloan Valve Co. and Dave Kruse on "How to Green Your Plumbing Operations and Water Conservation Products"; and
• Tom Taylor of Vertegy on "The Benefits and Pitfalls of Sustainable Construction — The Alberici Case Study."
A Green Products Showcase will feature members of MCAA's Manufacturer/ Supplier Council. They are: ANVIL International; Apollo; Baltimore Aircoil Co.; EVAPCO; Ferguson; Grinnell Mechanical Products, Johnson Controls; Kohler; Milwaukee Valve; Mueller Industries; NIBCO; Sloan Valve; Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.; Victaulic; Viega; and Zurn.
The registration fee is $995 for the first person from an MCAA member company with discounts for additional people from the same company. Nonmembers may attend for $1,595.
LEED prep courses
Two prep courses will be offered to help principals, senior management, middle management, project managers and estimators prepare for the LEED Accredited Professional exams.
The LEED AP Prep Course for new construction is a two-day course for those with a moderate understanding of green building. The course will cover the LEED-NC v2.2 rating system, including the processes, submittal documentation and inter-workings of integrated systems. Participants will set study and test-date goals, cover all aspects of LEED-NC v2.2 required to pass the exam with a focus on mechanical and plumbing, review case studies that show LEED credits being applied and network with others entering into this new market sector. The course will be taught by Courtney France, LEED AP, a trainer at Architectural Energy Corp. She has worked on more than 200 projects around the world that applied USGBC's LEED rating system.
A copy of the LEED-NC v2.2 Reference Guide is required for participation in the class, and reading assignments will be required before the program. A guide can be purchased for a discounted price of $150.
The course will be held Aug. 27–28 at the Grant Hyatt Convention Center in Denver. The registration fee is $595 per person and registration is limited to 40 people.
The LEED Existing Building Prep Course, which will be offered by the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, is a 10-hour training program on sustainable building principles and practices for the building operation and maintenance industry. The course will prepare participants for the LEED-EB accreditation exam in addition to providing information on the sustainable building movement, recent trends and specific opportunities for incorporating LEED into their organizations' operation and maintenance practices.
During the program all aspects of LEED-EB v2.0 that must be covered to pass the exam will be reviewed with a focus on the applicability of sustainability and the green movement to mechanical service contractors. Participants will be assisted in setting up an exam date through the USGBC. A copy of the LEED-EB v2.0 Reference Guide will be provided to each registrant as part of the registration fee, and reading assignments will be required before the program.
The course will be held Oct. 12-13 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. The registration fee is $650 per person. While the course is being held in conjunction with the MSCA Annual Educational Conference, registration for the conference is not required to attend the course.
A four-hour industry-specific course, Green 101 answers participants' most basic questions and addresses their most urgent concerns about the increasingly important green building phenomenon. It will target those contractor and service professionals wanting to learn the fundamentals of the subject, such as: the terminology, definitions, and technologies of green and sustainable construction. The course is taught by Tim Wentz, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln who is a registered professional engineer, a LEED AP, a licensed heating contractor and a licensed master plumber with more than 20 years' experience as a mechanical contractor.
Geared toward principals, senior management, middle management, project managers and estimators, the seminar can be scheduled by an individual company or by an MCAA local association.
More information about these programs is available at www.mcaa.org/education. MCAA's Website, www.mcaa.org, includes links to the USGBC and Dave Kruse's convention remarks. MCAA's news page, www.mcaa.org/news, offers searchable issues of the National Update, MCAA Reporter and Smart Solutions, all of which include stories related to green building.
MCAA members and volunteer leaders are experts in what they do; they make green building the best it can be. Watch for more green building resources in the months to come.
John R. Gentille is the executive vice president and CEO of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America.