Michael Deane, Turner Construction VP of Sustainability, discusses the growth in waste diversion on construction projects.
Michael Deane, vice president of sustainability for New York City-based Turner Construction told attendees of the 2012 C&D World in Nashville, Tenn., that while overall construction volume has had its ups and downs over the past few years, green building projects are continuing to rise.
Deane gave the keynote address during the conference. He told attendees more than half of Turner’s sales in 2009, 2010 and 2011 were from green building projects. He provided figures from 2006 showing there were only 60 LEED-registered (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects, compared with 2011 when there were 250 LEED-registered projects.
He also showed a graph depicting the tons of waste reported compared with the tons of waste recycled from construction sites that has also increased significantly. In 2005, for example, 30,764 tons of material were reported as being recycled from construction sites. In 2011, 292,490 tons were reported as being recycled.
Deane emphasized the importance of truth in the reporting of recycled materials. “Are we getting the real story or are we just hearing what we want to hear?” he asked.
He told attendees Turner was the first contractor committed to sustainable practices saying the company didn’t just become sustainable for LEED, but that “if it is good enough for green it is good enough for everybody.”
Deane said that in New York City the ability to recycle construction waste is easy as it is a robust industry. He told attendees he had a “rude awakening” when he saw the lack of recycling infrastructure in other parts of the country. C&D recycling is local and dependent on market conditions, he said.
2012 C&D World was held March 25-27, 2012, at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.