As green building practices became commonplace in most new, retrofit, or tenant improvement projects, the Carpenters International Training Fund is responding by first creating and now consistently updating its green training program.
The CITF is recognized as an education provider by both the U.S. Green Building Council and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, as well as by the Green Globes organization.
The CITF published Awareness: Green Building to familiarize its members with the concepts, terminology, materials, benefits, and regulatory agencies involved in green building. Before the skills necessary to use green materials are taught in the courses offered by CITF, this awareness course prepares union members for the green world of construction. Familiarity with the concepts, terminology, materials, and benefits of green building before actually learning and practicing the needed skills provides the UBC with better informed, more productive workers.
Specifics related to each trade are included. For example, floor layers learn about natural carpet fibers and adhesives, proper recycling practices, low-VOC materials, and how green practices contribute to a healthful indoor environmental quality. Environmentally preferable building materials as well as those made from salvaged or recycled products and those that both save energy and contribute to a safe and healthful environment are also discussed.
A section on the benefits of green building includes cost factors and the ecological and human benefits so that members understand the elements of green building in the context of how green building addresses the broader issues affecting the environment, business interests, and the quality of everyday life. Information on planning for green growth is included to give members an appreciation of changing planning and construction practices and how these new practices control the effect of growth and construction development on the community and the larger environment.
The importance of regulatory agencies and specific descriptions of the leading regulatory and certifying agencies are presented. An instructor guide with notes to assist instructors, PowerPoint slides to illustrate the content, and testing material is included.
An award-winning documentary film is included with the instructor guide as well. The film, The Greening of Southie, documents the building of the first green residential structure in Boston and reveals issues, changing attitudes of workers, and the actual techniques used for building green. The actual problems encountered in construction with mastic and humidity issues with wheatboard are shown and the discussion guide in the instructor materials encourages students to be aware of problems with new and sometimes untried green materials.