Part of Course: Cabinetmaking Model
Unit Overview / Details
The focus of this unit is to contrast traditional construction
and design methods with those that are more environmentally
friendly. These "green" construction methods focus on
designing buildings with as small a resource and energy use
footprint as possible.
Green building design includes optimal site selection and architectural design for minimum energy use and
Use of recycled or more easily renewed materials is a tangible example of green construction, and reduced or "distributed" energy use with "living roofs" solar power, rainwater cachement or xeriscaping are a few of the several examples of how green construction techniques look at the larger picture of resource use over the life (and eventual demolition) of the building.
The field of "green technology" encompasses a continuously evolving group of methods and materials, from techniques for generating energy to non-toxic cleaning products.
The present expectation is that this field will bring innovation and changes in daily life of similar magnitude to the "information technology" explosion over the last two decades. In these early stages, it is impossible to predict what "green technology" may eventually encompass.
The goals that inform developments in this rapidly growing field include:
Sustainability - meeting the needs of society in ways that can continue indefinitely into the future without damaging or depleting natural resources. In short, meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
"Cradle to cradle" design - ending the "cradle to grave" cycle of manufactured products, by creating products that can be fully reclaimed or re-used.
Source reduction - reducing waste and pollution by changing patterns of production and consumption.
Innovation - developing alternatives to technologies - whether fossil fuel or chemical intensive agriculture - that have been demonstrated to damage health and the environment.
Viability - creating a center of economic activity around technologies and products that benefit the environment, speeding their implementation and creating new careers that truly protect the planet.
- 10 Hours
Content / Concepts
- Green Technology Definition
- Historical Trends Personal
- Green Practices ( green lesson)
- Economic Benefits
- Green Cabinetmaking Practices (green lesson)
At the conclusion of this unit, students should be able to
articulate green and traditional construction methods, and contrast
the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each.
The student should be able to describe core elements forming the foundation of sustainable design; design, resource/energy use, and construction.
Examples of green technology subject areas
Perhaps the most urgent issue for green technology, this includes the development of alternative fuels, new means of generating energy and energy efficiency.
Green building encompasses everything from the choice of building materials to where a building is located.
Environmentally preferred purchasing
This government innovation involves the search for products whose contents and methods of production have the smallest possible impact on the environment, and mandates that these be the preferred products for government purchasing.
The invention, design and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.
Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of materials at the scale of the nanometer, one billionth of a meter. Some scientists believe that mastery of this subject is forthcoming that will transform the way that everything in the world is manufactured. "Green nanotechnology" is the application of green chemistry and green engineering principles to this field.
The history of sustainable living in the United States was one borne of the counterculture movement of the '60s. Teepees, yurts and cobb houses and the "back to the land" movement and "Earth Day" starting in 1970 were all elements of the brew that would ferment and begat the green "canon" that we know today. Additional information can be found on the EPA's website:
Personal Green Practices
"Paper or Plastic?" If your answer is "Neither, I brought my NPR recycled hemp tote" you're well on the way to understanding the intent of personal green practices.
Personal Green Practices review one's own attitude and actions in the materials and resources we use in the day-to-day. Recycling is good, pre-cycling or NOT having something that needs to be disposed of is even better (a coffee cup, instead of a paper cup, as an example)
Green Cabinetmaking Practices - these include using sustainable (FSA), locally sourced or recycled materials instead of exotics, grey or black market material from Asia, Oceana or Europe. Using water or soy based, low VOC finishing materials and non-toxic adhesives are another example of green cabinetmaking. Again, the overarching element is reduction of resource and energy use and adopting a "cradle to cradle" design and building philosopy.
Lessons in this Unit
The student will assess local applications of green technology in related shops or businesses, including cabinet making shops, lumber yards, suppliers, etc. The instructor will model employer contact and provide students with an opportunity to practice prior to the actual contact. Survey results will be compiled to assess local industries approach to green technology. Modeled practice, small groups, and discussion/lecture will be used to teach the lesson plan.