Muskens: Sustainable economic methods a pathway to jobs

Today we can build buildings that contribute to the environment, instead of detract from it.

Kermit the Frog, one of the world’s most recognized puppets, years ago said: “It’s not easy being green.”

But being green today has a much different connotation than Kermit expressed way back in the early 1970s.

Today being green is associated with sustainability, which means adopting sustainable methods when producing goods, including food, and buildings that incorporate techniques and materials that don’t impact negatively on the environment.

A prime example of this is constructing a building where heating and cooling is reliant on solar energy or geothermal as opposed to a non-renewable resource such as oil and gas.

Although this may sound simple, using solar energy requires knowledge of specific construction techniques and materials that allow the solar energy to keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

A prime example of this type of building is the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, located at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

Considered a living laboratory for green construction this two-year old building will be home to Okanagan College’s new three-year diploma program in Sustainable Construction Management Technology which begins this fall.

Students from across the country are expected to enrol in this program as there is industry and government support to begin to train project managers in the methods and building techniques required to build “green” buildings.

This program will provide students with the knowledge and understanding of what goes into large-scale building project with an emphasis in sustainable design principles.

With a green lens to look through, students will examine procurement processes, quantity surveying, sustainable construction and environmental impacts.

Considering the drive by many countries to adopt sustainable ways of living, I suspect these graduates won’t have trouble finding work both in Canada and abroad.

Upon graduation many students will have the skills and abilities to consider careers as site superintendents, general contractors or subcontractors, field coordinators, quantity surveyors,  inspectors or project managers.

Any young adult today who has a passion for the environment and wants to find a profession which clearly contributes to protecting mother Earth may want to consider this program.

Years ago when Kermit the Frog was young, there was talk about protecting the environment and even a few initiatives.

Today there is more than just talk. We can build buildings that contribute to the environment, instead of detract from it, we can run cars without gasoline, and through innovation we can build a better world .

To find out more about Okanagan College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology Diploma Program, visit

Just Posted

Fire ignites at Kelowna homeless camp

No one was hurt in the incident, RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire

UPDATE: Kelowna mayoral candidates talk about crime

Candidates talk about an issue on many city residents’ minds—how to deal with crime downtown

Film exposing effects of Canadian mining company to be shown in Kelowna

Hudbay Minerals’ legacy of lead poisoning, and civil-suits including allegations of murder, rape and shootings

Kelowna councillor candidate drops out of race

Curtis Cinibel confirms he is withdrawing the civic election after filing paper to run

Okanagan College hosts 10th annual Powwow

The Kelowna campus will once again host the event Sept. 20

Store recognized for inclusive employment efforts

Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerland presented with certificate from WorkBC

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read