Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ABC Offers Green Contractor Certification Program

For contractors interested in sustainability and green construction, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) offers a Green Contractor Certification program. According to ABC, the programs documents the efforts of merit shop construction firms that are developing a sustainable workplace environment and to recognize those ABC members that are leaders in the green industry.

The process starts by submitting an application detailing green efforts and undergoing a third-party onsite assessment to achieve certification from ABC’s National Green Building Committee. ABC’s Certified Green Contractor program focuses on the green initiatives ABC member firms undertake in the workplace, not on construction practices, and it certifies companies, not individuals.

“ABC members have been on the forefront of the green building movement since its inception, but ABC also believes in stretching green achievements beyond the construction process and into the workplace,” said W. Brewster Earle, chairman of the ABC National Green Building Committee and president of Comfort Systems USA Energy Services, in Hartford, Conn. “The Green Contractor Certification program is another step in ABC’s goal to provide support and recognition for those firms that are setting an example for the industry by promoting green practices within the company and those that would like to create sustainability in the workplace as well as in construction practices.”

Twelve prerequisites ranging from the electronic distribution of documents to establishing an aggressive recycling program must be completed by each company. In addition, companies are required to fulfill at least 12 out of 36 elective items that include conducting a professional energy audit, engaging in water conservation efforts and providing incentives for carpooling or using public transportation. Each company also must achieve four education and training benchmarks, such as instructing employees on sustainability issues and requiring at least 25 percent of eligible managers to receive green building awareness education. For more information, visit ABC’s green website http://www.greenconstructionatwork.com//.