Posts by creedla

Los Angeles Construction Jobs Lagging Behind

August 15th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Salary

There are lots of rosy statistics which claim that construction workers in California are among the highest paid in the United States. This claim is at best misleading and masks a seismic shift in the compensation for construction workers nationally and in California in particular. In 1973 the national hourly average wage for construction workers was $31.84 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2016 the rate had fallen to $25.97 adjusted for inflation.

Benefits and Working Conditions

As contractors seek to cut costs there have been reductions in pay and an increase in corners cut. The California Department of Industrial Relations Through the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) enforces labor laws. In 2018 it fined contractors over two million dollars for violations. A LETF report lists frequent problems with contractors for:

  1. Not having a contractor’s license, or hiring unlicensed subcontractors
  2. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
  3. Not paying workers the wages they are owed
  4. Not allowing rest or meal breaks
  5. Paying a piece rate or other nonhourly rate that does not meet minimum-wage
  6. Not giving pay stubs or not paying payroll tax.
  7. Not providing the equipment, tools or protective clothing that workers need
  8. Lacking a proper safety plan
  9. Poor records of training.
  10. Not having a first-aid kit.
  11. Not having workers’ compensation insurance or not insuring all employees.

The housing crisis in California has brought attention to the need to attract and retain construction works as part of any solution. There is hope on the horizon for improving pay, training, health care and retirement benefits for construction workers. Stay tuned for updates!

Environmental Ideas for Kids

May 28th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

With a large focus on renewable resources, minimizing the carbon footprint and other environmental concerns, we thought it would be interesting to explore ideas that children can research or do projects on. You are never too young to engage in learning to help the planet.

Some project ideas for kids to have fun and learn more about important environmental components:

  • Energy Conservation – kids can learn about energy, why it needs to be conserved and research ways they can conserve more energy.
  • Organic Garden – create your own organic garden with compost.
  • Soil quality – Soil needs certain elements to sustain plant growth. Kids can determine the quality of the soil in their yard.
  • Greenhouse effect – kids can explore how a greenhouse works, with a simple Greenhouse in a jar experiment.
  • Air Quality – learn a simple test to check the air quality around your home.
  • Habitat Model – study how animals and plants adapt. This project is especially beneficial to help kids learn the impact of changes to the environment and to see how plants and animal adapt or how they die off, if they are unable to adapt.
  • Recycling – help kids understand the importance of recycling and let them discover ways to reuse and repurpose items as part of a recycling initiative.
  • Water Purification – kids can learn how to make a water filter from sand.
  • Rainwater Harvesting – kids can learn the importance and value of rainwater harvesting and then implement their own system at school or at home.
  • Pollution – have kids research the causes of pollution and then have them brainstorm solutions to cut pollution.
  • Renewable Energy – have kids define renewable energy and then list all the sources they can think of. They can turn cards of renewable energy sources into a memory game.

There is a lot kids can learn and even invent as they explore these important topics. Science experience are educational and fun. There is no limit to a child’s imagination. Nurture it now – these kids are the future of our planet.

Green Buildings

May 14th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

What are green buildings? Buildings that have been created structurally using processes that are environmentally friend and very resource-efficient. The entire process from design to construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and reconstruction is environmentally responsible, in both parts and labour.

Green buildings are also known as Sustainable.

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation

Green building may utilise sustainable materials, minimize the use of pollutants and feature landscaping that may require less watering, allowing for the conservation of water.

There are countless reasons to build green and we are seeing an increase in green buildings as businesses and individuals become more aware of the impact humans are having on the planet. Consumers are actively looking to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible.

History of Green Building

Green building became a movement that people became passionate about, out of necessity. The need for more energy efficient solutions became important due to oil prices increasing in the 1970s.

The movement started with a flurry of research and activity that focused on improving energy efficiency and finding and using renewable resources.

This combined with the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s, led to much experimenting and learning about green building.

It was in the 1990s that the movement became more established. The U.S. saw environmental laws increasing and a demand for more accountability for the carbon footprint.

EPA ProgramsThe EPA has a number of programs and resources to help you learn more about the components of green building.

Experiment Uses Machine Learning to Identify U.S. Solar Panels

March 2nd, 2019 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

Last December, Stanford University scientists published a paper describing an experiment that used machine learning to locate nearly all U.S. solar panels. They hope the data will help them identify factors that promote solar energy and those that discourage it.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a growing field in technology, yet many people don’t know what it means. Like most scientific concepts, you can get different answers depending on whom you ask. However, we like the simple way that Emerj defines it:

“Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world interactions.”

The scientists from Stanford University created a machine learning program called DeepSolar. Then, they fed it 370,000 images, labeling each of them accordingly if they did or did not have a solar panel.

DeepSolar runs a complex algorithm that identifies patterns associated with solar panels, like color, texture, and size. That’s how it can analyze a completely new image and tell if it’s looking at a solar panel or not.

How Solar Panels Work

According to the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, using renewable energy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Also known as “green power”, renewable energy comes from many sources like solar power, wind power, and geothermal technologies.

Solar panels are made of silicon cells and other materials with conductive properties. When exposed to the sun, they convert sunlight into electricity in the form of direct current (DC). Wires send the direct current to an inverter that transforms it into alternating current (AC), which you can use to power your home.

Study Findings

The experiment used high-resolution satellite images to identify 1.47 million solar panels in the contiguous 48 American states.

Among many other findings, the researchers discovered that household income is directly associated with the adoption of solar panels. However, it has less impact when it surpasses $150,000 a year.

The scientists also made another interesting discovery: There are areas with plenty of sunshine and high electricity rates where few people are using solar panels, even though the power bill savings would exceed the equipment costs. This may be caused by the upfront cost of solar panels.

Finally, the study concluded that once solar energy penetration reaches a certain level in a neighborhood, more people from the same area start adopting it.

 

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

How to Make Your Home Healthier for You and for the Planet

February 27th, 2019 Posted by Environment No Comment yet

Last December, the World Green Building Council published a guide outlining strategies to make homes healthier for people and for the planet. Here’s why these actions are important and what you can do to improve your home:

What is the World Green Building Council?

The World Green Building Council is an association that advocates for green buildings. Its mission is to drive the construction of green buildings for everyone by promoting sustainable practices and a healthy lifestyle.

Present in over 70 countries around the world, the World Green Building Council has a few goals:

  • Limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Reduce the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions by 84 gigatonnes.
  • Ensure all buildings are net zero emissions.

If you want to learn more about their initiatives, we encourage you to check out their website.

The Importance of Green Buildings

So, what is this green building thing and why does it matter?

While the construction industry is necessary for the development of our cities, it has a history of harming the environment. For example, energy use in buildings accounts for almost 40% of our carbon footprint. Buildings are also a major contributor to natural resource depletion, which is dangerous for both humans and other species.  

Green buildings employ construction techniques that can reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment without slowing down economic growth. In this link, you can learn more about the benefits of green buildings.

How to Make Your Home Healthier

The World Green Building Council’s guide focuses on three key features to make your home healthier: Air quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, and light.

Did you know that more than half of the air you breathe is inhaled inside your home? The problem is that cooking and heating can cause indoor air pollution, which is harmful to your health. Installing solar panels, improving your home’s ventilation, and reducing pollutants are all good strategies for fighting indoor air pollution.

Homes that are excessively noisy and too hot or too cold can have a negative impact on the health of its occupants. Poor thermal control is associated with respiratory illnesses, asthma, and mental health issues. You can avoid it by planting trees around your house, using shades to block unwanted sunlight, and painting your roof white.

Finally, install roof windows, choose more efficient LED light bulbs, and use dimming sensors to reduce energy waste. Living in a dark home contributes to headaches, insomnia, and seasonal affective disorder, which is why lighting is very important.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

Top 3 Urban Design Trends for 2019

February 21st, 2019 Posted by Aesthetics And Renovations No Comment yet

When it comes to architecture and city planning, trends and styles are always changing to suit the tastes of society. In a time where companies are becoming more aware of the needs of the environment, architects are taking up the challenge to create a greener and more sustainable world.

Here are the top 3 trends that are set to dominate architecture in 2019.

#1 Making Cities Pedestrian-Friendly

The carbon footprint of automobiles is a well-known environmental danger, and while some manufacturers are trying to create cars that are purely electric, architects and city planners are trying to remove the need for cars entirely.

Pedestrian-friendly cities exist all across the globe, with cities like Copenhagen and Dubrovnik even mandating that their populations move away from automobiles. These cities inspire many American architects, who are redesigning cities like Seattle, WA and Alpharetta, GA, to discard their cars and embrace a more active lifestyle.

#2 Including Cutting Edge and Energy-Friendly Technology

Climate change and sustainable energy are concerning us all, but governments, architects, and scientists are working together to create better solutions.

New buildings, such as the Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, are being constructed with renewable energies and innovative materials in mind, greatly offsetting their carbon footprint and inspiring designers all across the country.

Construction companies are seeing how valuable a “platinum” certification from the LEED program can be, motivating the construction of more of these sustainable structures in the near future.

#3 Making Buildings Future-Proof

For modern architects, it isn’t enough to simply solve today’s problems. They need to prepare cities for the concerns of tomorrow as well. Factors like demographic shifts and environmental changes are constantly being considered by designers, with the aging U.S. population leading to an improvement in the accessibility of homes.

In the past, buildings that focused too much on style over substance are now being mocked by experts for their inflexibility. Construction companies must now look to strike a practical balance between the two.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

Top 3 Fastest Growing Careers in Green Construction

February 19th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

As we’ve said in previous blogs, the American construction industry is undergoing a green transformation, promoting a healthy planet and a booming economy. Let’s take a look at some of the highest-demand construction jobs that focus on green energy.

#1: Water Quality Technicians

The lack of clean water supplies for cities, such as Flint, MI, is a hot topic across the country. Because of this, cities & construction companies are looking for water quality technicians who can ensure resource stability for new developments.

With an Associates Degree, water quality technicians are very knowledgeable and receive an average of $60,000 per year for their services. If you have a passion for construction as well as environmental sustainability, this might be the perfect job for you.

#2: Solar Panel Technicians

Solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable and are straight-forward to install as well. This means that companies who want to do their part to save the planet should include them in their construction plans.

Solar panels have been installed at over 7,000 sites across the country, and construction companies need more solar panel technicians if they want to keep up with the demand. Wages differ from state to state, but the average solar panel technician in California takes home a staggering $84,000 per year. Do you have what it takes to become one?

#3: Green Designers and Architects

Companies aren’t just looking for skilled technicians to work at the job site, they’re also looking for green architects and designers to plan and execute these environmental systems. Of all green construction jobs, green designers and architects are probably the most in demand, as sustainable building designs make up the majority of construction projects today.

Designers and architects are paid accordingly, with the average individual making over $70,000 a year. This is a highly technical field, however, and companies expect a bachelors degree or more from potential designer candidates.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

The Many Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting

February 13th, 2019 Posted by Environment No Comment yet

Green energy is becoming more popular than ever. Whether it’s solar panels, wind turbines, or other methods, 18% of all electricity in the United States is now created using renewable resources.

Although its legality has differed from state to state, the Rainwater Collection Act means Californians can now begin harvesting rainwater.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainfall into large containers and using it for household tasks and irrigation. Collection systems can vary from household to household; some residences have a simple barrel placed beneath a downspout while others have elaborate collection vats connected by a series of pipes. With areas of northern California receiving an average of 40 inches per year, there is plenty of opportunity for homeowners to take advantage of this resource.

What are the Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting?

The primary goal of rainwater harvesting, as outlined by communities like Berkeley, is to provide an alternative water supply for landscape irrigation. The average summer temperature can reach highs of 92℉, so lawns and gardens can become parched if left unwatered for too long. This problem is only further exacerbated by California’s recent droughts.

Rainwater harvesting is not only a great way for homeowners to save money, but also to preserves local aquifers in case of future emergencies. It also limits the amount of stormwater that would normally runoff through the property. Stormwater picks up dangerous pesticides and pollutants while passing to the ocean, and can contaminate pristine areas and bodies of water. By gathering this stormwater and using it, you will preserve these areas and restrict pesticides to an enclosed and manageable environment.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

NASA’s Ames Sustainability Base: The Future of Federal Construction

February 11th, 2019 Posted by Architecture No Comment yet

Ever since the signing of executive order 13514 by President Obama, US federal departments and agencies have been mandated to make their buildings and operations as eco-friendly as possible. While various department plans are being drafted, the greatest example of this environmental commitment is in the NASA Ames Sustainability Base.

What is the NASA Ames Sustainability Base?

The Ames Sustainability Base is NASA’s latest addition to the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The idea for the facility began in 2007 when NASA launched their “Renovation by Replacement” campaign to upgrade their worksite conditions for the humans inside and the environment outside. Among the 60 federal facilities that are up for LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, the Ames Sustainability Base is one of the very few businesses to earn the platinum certification.

What Makes the Ames Sustainability Base Different?

The reason the Ames Sustainability Base is a technological marvel is because NASA has taken their design philosophy for space missions and applied it to architecture. The high energy needs of the facility are greatly supported by green technologies, including on-site solar panels, geothermal wells, and a non-combustion Bloom Energy box.

Water reclamation is an important feature for NASA space missions, but it can also be used to great effect down here on Earth. By filtering water from toilets and urinals, NASA plans to cut down on water consumption by 90% and use the reclaimed water for local irrigation.

When it comes to the structure of the facility, many of the materials and pieces of furniture are made with recycled materials, including metals and wood from prior NASA projects.

Environmental technology is also present in the landscape around the building, primarily through the use of stone bioswales that filter pollution out of the earth.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

Benefits of Reducing Construction & Demolition Waste

February 8th, 2019 Posted by Green Construction No Comment yet

Construction & Demolition (C&D) is one of the messiest industries on the planet, especially when it comes to the waste left behind. Whether communities are being built up or torn down, the bricks, concrete, wood, and piping left over can create a serious burden on the local environment. According to the EPA, over 540 million tons of debris was created by American C&D companies in 2015—the same weight as over 100 Great Pyramids of Giza!

Here are some of the major benefits created by reducing, reusing, and recycling the waste left at C&D sites.

Construction Waste is an Economic Boost

Although it may be simpler to haul the piles of waste off to a landfill and forget about them, the materials left after a demolition project can be quite valuable. Wood products are the most versatile of construction waste, as companies can recycle them into furniture and sell them, a trend that is quite popular with young homeowners. Metal and wood products can also be reused by construction companies as a cheaper material, lowering the building cost of new properties and welcoming more buyers.

Salvaging and recycling construction waste is big business, with over 230,000 jobs being created in 2007 alone to handle all of the recycled material, and many more for investment and expansion.

Building a Better Environment

The US produces a staggering amount of construction waste every year, and that waste hurts the environment in different ways over the course of its life.

The creation of construction materials, specifically steel and concrete, is an intensive process with large amounts of resources used and CO2 expelled. By leaving them in a landfill, that damaging process has been wasted and will be repeated to create replacement items.

Recycling construction waste benefits the environment by cutting down the extraction of virgin resources, as it returns the usable materials to the construction industry and limits the demand for newer products.

Landfills are also an environmentally precarious area, with many of them set to close due to overfilling. By reusing construction materials that would normally be abandoned, the burden for landfills to breakdown their contents is lessened and long-term environmental healing is made possible.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

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