Green Construction Institute to Teach Sustainability

To further the cause of green building, the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) of Chicago has established the Green Construction Institute, dedicated to the advancement of sustainable practices in the construction industry.

The institute offers educational opportunities to keep the association's member contractors up-to-date with the latest green building technology. It also provides green classes for engineers, city officials, building owners, and United Association Pipe Fitters Local Union 597 apprentices and journeymen, among others.

"Education is a top initiative of the association," said Stephen Lamb, executive vice president of MCA Chicago. "For three years, the association has been instructing our member contractors on sustainable technology, to help them meet the ever-growing demand for green building and maintain a competitive edge in the process. This year, we decided it was time to formalize our efforts by founding the Green Construction Institute."

Member contractors of MCA Chicago work with the pipe fitters and service technicians of Local Union 597 to build powerhouses to generate electricity; to install and service heating and air conditioning systems in homes and buildings; and to install piping wherever it is needed, from oil refineries to food-processing plants.

"Green building is steadily growing in popularity," stated Dan Bulley, senior vice president of MCA Chicago and Executive Director of the institute. "Any business in the construction industry that ignores sustainable technology runs the risk of being left behind – and losing market share."

The institute's educational offerings include the following:

• Introductory Course in Green Building for contractors.

• Apprentice and Craft Training: Guidance and curriculums for union construction trades.

• Technical, Equipment and Design: Training on green building methods and materials.

• Legal and Insurance Advice

• LEED Accredited Professional (AP) Training

• Marketing: How contractors can promote green building to their clients.

• CEO Training: How business leaders can position their companies.

• Owner Training: Online seminars for owners on LEED Existing Building (EB) and New Construction (NC).

• Visioning: Courses on how green building will intersect in the future with design/build, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and other industry developments.

This September, MCA Chicago and the institute will move from a suite in a downtown Chicago high-rise to their new headquarters in a red-brick, green building, under construction in Burr Ridge, Ill.

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