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Message from the President: Are You Green?

I’m not sure if you are like me, but I haven’t seen a word so overused in our everyday world as the word GREEN. Everywhere I look I see green this and green that. We have green homes, green cars, green toilet paper; even the hamburgers we buy at McDonalds are now green. At least for one reason or another….

So what does “being green” mean for you and me and the Tilt-Up industry? Personally, if I am not green, it appears that I am somehow not on the cutting-edge of construction technology and the company I work for may not be as well positioned in the market as some of our “green” competitors. What was once a differentiator for me and my company is now becoming common place, a real standard if you will. For example, are you LEED accredited? This is one significant accomplishment that can bolster your level of “greenness”, if you are so inclined. Last fall, we as a company made a hard push to get folks LEED Accredited. We now have 52 LEED Accredited professionals on staff.

Supposedly, I am green all over after having spent approximately 60 hours, most of which was personal time, studying for the LEED V2.2 exam, and passing! Be careful; don’t take that exam for granted. It is tough. But, I actually feel it did bolster my knowledge and understanding of how to apply real sustainable principles in the projects we design and build. I just have to admit, I don’t remember much of what I spent all that time studying…

Is Tilt-Up green? Is it sustainable? According to Webster’s Dictionary, sustainable means “….using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged”. I am in construction so by default I am no rocket scientist. But in looking at that definition it makes me wonder if when selecting materials for a “green” or “sustainable” construction project we are merely choosing the lesser of many evils. EVERY project consumes or depletes resources by its very nature. It’s how little we do it and with what materials we use that make the difference. I believe Tilt-Up concrete panels using recycled aggregates and materials that were generated through a process that minimized environmental impact are significantly sustainable. Also, just how long do you think a Tilt-Up building will last compared to its competitors? Add to that the potential thermal benefits and you have yourself a green product. Don’t you agree?

The bottom line is, you may have not realized it, but you are GREEN. Now the goal is how to turn your greenness into the real green we care about: CASH. Be educated about the product or service you are selling and then promote it. One way to learn this is to attend this year’s TCA Convention at Amelia Island, Florida September 30th through October 2nd. We will be presenting on this subject and many others to help improve your business in these down times. I hope to see you there.

Jim MacKinnon, President

TCA Board of Directors

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.