If you are considering a career in green engineering, you may wonder what kind of concepts and differences there are during project planning stages. For example, you know that the core engineering concepts are still there, but the incorporating green options may change the project expectations. Before you turn your engineering career eye to green projects and development, consider these key points that green engineers consider during green projects.
Prevention and Treatment
When you are an engineer in the green living industry you are put in a position to think about how the project you are on will affect the environment. The issue with this is that you aren't just looking at it from the project viewpoint. You have to look at it through the local environment, how day to day business operations will affect the environment, and how it may be affected by the number of people arriving at the project location.
For example, the building itself may manufacture certain products that emit toxins into the environment. These toxins can combine with the toxins from the vehicles coming in and out of the business site. These two factors will not only effect the environment on a daily basis, but could cause adverse effects over time. This leads engineers to look for ways that will prevent these issues from occurring instead of implementing options that will treat the issues that the project causes.
Switching Resource Paths
As a green engineer you may be asked to work on a project that will move a business or industry into greener development options. You may be asked to help a manufacturing business move into an old warehouse, but the new business wants to develop greener methods of production. This means you have to work with the resources at your disposal, like the building and pre-existing manufacturing equipment, and create greener options.
This may mean switching resource paths so you can use the same equipment with different output options. An example of this would be switching the fuel that operates certain machines to soy based or bio-fuel. You could also take the steps to switch to solar power for certain operations and reduce your energy consumption and output.
Another key point that green engineers consider on building projects and during planning processes are energy changes. They may look for ways to operate entire businesses using wind and solar power with very little electrical power. A prime example of this type of consideration can be seen with the development of the Bahrain World Trade Centre which powered its wind turbines for the first time in 2008 and derives about 10 to 15 percent of the power used in both trade centre towers.
This is just a small sampling of the types of considerations and points you would be dealing with as a green engineer. If you think this sounds like the type of engineering career path you want to take, consider speaking with your career advisor for more details and course selection.