By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Letter to the editor
Government should invest in construction
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
As the global financial crisis threatens the livelihood of American businesses and workers, the Senate’s priority was to tell millions of American workers in the design and construction industry that they don’t deserve to be a part of the economic recovery. Nearly one million jobs have been lost in this vital sector of the economy — which accounts for one in ten dollars of Gross Domestic Product.

Has Congress lost its bearings?  Generations of students are preparing for life in the global economy in FEMA-like trailers or classrooms. According to the National Education Association (NEA), it would take more than $268 billion to repair and modernize America’s K-12 school facilities. In an economic crisis as grave as this, we need to do everything we can to stimulate the economy and rebuild our communities. What better way to do so than to invest in our children.

Similarly, most people assume that pollution from cars and factories are the leading cause of global warming — but the true sleeping giant is the built environment. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy calculate that buildings account for nearly half (48 percent) of all greenhouse gas emissions — far more than transportation (27 percent) and industry (25 percent). Buildings also account for 76 percent of all electricity generated at power plants.

The federal government has jurisdiction over a significant portion of all buildings in the U.S.  Requiring significant energy reduction in new and renovated federal buildings will demonstrate to the private sector that the federal government is leading by example. It would help spur the development of new materials, construction techniques, and technologies to make buildings more energy efficient. And it will help show that significant energy reductions are both practical and cost-effective. Most important, a fully funded federal commitment to public, residential, commercial, and institutional energy efficient design, construction and renovation would put Americans back to work and generate economic activity nationwide.

Investing in construction and renovation will create jobs in the short term and also establish the foundation for sustained economic growth. As the Senate and House bring their respective versions of the economic stimulus plan to conference, we must urge Congress to ensure that any economic recovery plan it sends to President Obama includes significant investments in the building sector to create jobs, move closer to energy independence, and improve the quality of life in American.

John S. Derucki


President, Derucki Construction

AIA Atlanta– Building Envelope Technology and Environment Council