The United Association recently held one of its Green Awareness courses for Chicago building inspectors at the Pipefitters Local 597 training center in Mokena, Ill.

“While we’re well-known as a labor organization, we want to be known for more,” said Rod Jara, UA director of the Great Lakes Training Center at a press conference, Nov. 8, held during the Greenbuild Conference & Expo, Chicago.

Helping everyone in the building trades understand green construction is one way the UA intends to do that. The UA introduced it Green Awareness Training and Certification program at the beginning of the year.

The green course, developed in conjunction with HVAC Excellence, the Green Mechanical Council and Ferris State University, is designed to educate participants on energy-efficient products.

“A lot of construction professionals just think in terms of first costs,” said Tom Meyer, executive director, Green Mechanical Council. “But we need them to understand life-cycle costs, too.”

In other news during the conference, the U.S. Green Building Council announced two new web sites:

  • The Green Home Guide,, details the ways green homes can benefit health and save money.
  • The USGBC also re-launched its own web site, Highlights of the redesigned site include a resource section designed to make LEED project credit templates more accessible; easier access to online reference guides and LEED reference documents; more resources for members and chapters; a USGBC store to purchase workshop materials and publications; and a more comprehensive listing of educational offerings and workshops.