November 6th, 2009

Contemplating a new career a Green Construction project manager. So far I have two projects I can manager; the new shop for the OSU Student Sustainability Center, and the new Social Hall for the UU's, which hasn't been approved yet -- though the UU's are infamous for not giving things a formal approval 'til long after they're finished.

The Shop would be a volunteer job; the other would be a paid job; the former is "guerilla architecture," though with the *in*formal approval of the relevant authorities, the latter would be with full approval of any relevant or even remotely interested bureaucracy.

So what do I have to know, and what do I have to learn, to do that job according to my own professional standards? Project management itself is a nearly infinitely-transferable skill; what matters here is knowing what fields I'll need to have field-specific knowledge in.

The Shop will be of straw-bale construction; need to research that. Have already discovered it needs a particular type of foundation, rebar reinforcement, and waterproof stucco or plaster for the outside. Preferred construction technique is to build a roof and then build walls underneath it up to the roof, since load-bearing straw walls are against code in many places, even if an engineer can prove they *can* take the load. My first thought on the rebar was to build the walls first, climb up on top, and use a sledgehammer to pound it through and into the ground; if there's already a roof up, that doesn't work.

I should probably do multiple websearches on the broader topic and see what comes up; off the top of my head I get active solar, passive solar, rainwater recycling, insulation, unconventional building materials, and life-cycle costing. (Edit: Gail reminds me to include greywater systems and composting toilets End Edit(An enameled steel roof, for example, is about twice the price of a conventional three-tab-shingle roof, and lasts between 3 and 4 times as long.)

Got any other subjects for me?