By Dean Allen, CEO, McKinstry
Today, millions of students, tech workers and others across the globe will be walking out of their classrooms, places of work and homes to join together in a Global Climate Strike to demand action against the looming climate crisis. We at McKinstry applaud these efforts, and I’m personally inspired by the youth leading this movement and hopeful for their future.
Today, as we do every day at McKinstry, we’ll be spending our time innovating the waste out of the built environment; designing projects with aggressive energy and carbon reduction goals leveraging renewables, shared energy, and other leading-edge technologies; and constructing, renovating and servicing building systems in ways that create less impact to the earth’s fragile ecosystems. This work is critical to the fight against climate change.
We are part of an industry that greatly contributes to the climate crisis despite having the power to do something about it. But, because of persistent silos, slow innovation and poor organization, the construction industry has so far been ineffective at embracing what’s possible in the fight for our planet. The time to act is now, which is why McKinstry is working hard to change the paradigm and lead the way to a carbon-free future.
We’ve got our work cut out for us. More than 5 million commercial buildings currently operating in the U.S. consume 49 percent of all energy generated and produce 47 percent of all carbon emissions. The good news is that emerging, complex building technologies are unlocking the potential to radically reduce carbon emissions and operate buildings with startling efficiency. McKinstry is leveraging this technology, along with our deep expertise, to step up to the challenge on projects like our zero-energy, zero-carbon cross-laminated timber (CLT) Catalyst Building in Spokane.
We’re heartened to see the way communities across the country are joining in the fight. Across the country, McKinstry is working with clients like the City and County of Denver to map pathways to 100 percent carbon-free, renewable energy. We’re also helping Howard County in Arkansas deploy enough solar capacity to bring all county operations to net-zero energy.
These are but a few examples of the kinds of actions we all need to take if we are going to win the battle. I urge you to join us. We are pushing boundaries, challenging conventional thinking, and elevating perceptions of what is possible in the built environment, our communities and the world. You too can ask what is possible. Learn what is happening in your community and become part of the dialogue.
Without dreaming big and “walking in,” things stay the same. Our communities, our children and our planet can’t afford the status quo.