Green Rebuilding in New Orleans still Faces Obstacles

by | Aug 26, 2009

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greenbuildingobstaclesFunding is the biggest obstacle that New Orleans businesses and organizations encounter in their green building projects and services, according to a new assessment report about green rebuilding efforts in the hurricane-ravaged city from the Sierra Club. Other factors include a lack of knowledge about green building concepts, small staff size and lack of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professionals.

The assessment report catalogs current and former green projects, evaluates the capacity and needs of businesses, and provides profiles on key agencies and a directory of local green building service providers.

The report was based on two different surveys. One survey was given to universities, architects, construction companies, nonprofit organizations and others involved in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, while the second survey focused on workforce training programs, reports Mother Nature Network.

The 53-page report, New Orleans Green Building Assessment, provides a detailed summary of survey results that cover topics such as obstacles to green building projects and services, percentage of green products purchased, reasons for not purchasing green products, percentage of local volunteers and knowledge of green building concepts.

Of the agencies profiled in the report, 36.7 percent have been involved in the green building industry for 13 months to two years, reports Mother Nature Network. The survey also finds that while the majority of respondents provide advocacy and technical assistance services, only one-third are involved in research on green building.

Another finding shows that 16 of the 42 participants provide additional services including energy efficiency, green building planning and design, consultation, implementation, real estate development, preserving historic architecture, and building reuse and recycling.

Although the report finds that businesses purchase a wide range of green products, respondents indicate that the top three reasons for not purchasing green products is cost, lack of local vendors and lack of supply.

Key findings from the workforce training survey indicate that most training programs focus on older youth and adults, and two-thirds of respondents say that their main obstacles are funding, lack of training materials and lack of green building teaching staff. Another one-third of respondents say there is a need for hands-on training opportunities and a LEED accredited staff.

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