WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded twelve programs its inaugural Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards and Incentive Grants. The awards and grants program is a central component of USGBC's commitment to identify and disseminate innovative green build curricula to educators across the country.
The awards and grants recognize pre-K through college-level curricula that advance the green building ideals of transforming how buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. Recognition awards honor existing green building education projects, activities or programs. The Incentive Grants provide monetary support of $20,000 each for schools or organizations to develop new curriculum.
USGBC will establish a repository of the newly identified curricula and will develop a teaching resource database, which will serve to disseminate these programs nationally and facilitate contact among educators from a wide variety of disciplines. In addition, an Educator Summit during the USGBC's Greenbuild Conference in Boston on November 21, 2008 will showcase the winning curriculum.
Recipients of USGBC's inaugural Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards and Incentive Grants programs include:
2008 Recognition Awards
School Building Week: School of the Future Student Design Competition
The Council of Educational Facility Planners (Scottsdale, AZ)
School of the Future Student Design Competition is a national program that offers an opportunity for middle school students to bring their creativity to the design process. Student teams are challenged to design their schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. The competition is a component of School Building Week, which focuses on the importance of high performing, healthy, safe and sustainable school facilities and to showcase their connection to learning. School Building Week is supported by the CEFPI Foundation & Charitable Trust in collaboration with the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Association of REALTORS(R), American Institute of Architects and over 35 other organizations.
Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools
Kentucky Environmental Education Council (Frankfort, KY)
Kentucky Green & Healthy School (KGHS) is a web-based program that allows students and staff to make their schools greener and healthier by studying their learning environments. The program assists teachers in utilizing their schools as a teaching tool and enables students to take an active role in the management of their school buildings and grounds. The program aligns with the Kentucky Core Content for Assessment so teachers can prepare the students for the state's mandatory testing program as they study the efficiency and sustainability of their school's environment.
Residential Building Technology Program
Yavapai College (Prescott, AZ)
Yavapai College's progressive Residential Building Technology (RBT) program teaches students to design, build and manage the construction of safe, durable, affordable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsive houses. Through this unique classroom and jobsite-based training program, students learn how to incorporate appropriate climate-specific building materials, specify systems and technologies based on current applied building science principles, and to implement sustainable design and green building practices.
Beyond Curriculum: Cross-Campus Sustainability at Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI)
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is pledged to a comprehensive sustainability strategy that integrates curricular development; campus operations, including a commitment to LEED(R) construction; student involvement; and community engagement. Planning for GVSU's transformation into a sustainable campus began in 2004 with the establishment of the Sustainability Initiative and a baseline collection of operational and administrative performance indicators. This effort resulted in GVSU's first sustainability report (October 2005), which addressed the triple bottom line (TBL) indicators of sustainable development and utilized 64 performance measurements.
The Alley-Flat Initiative
University of Texas Austin
The Alley-Flat Initiative (AFI) is a joint collaboration between the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development, the Guadalupe Neighborhood Housing Development Corporation (GNDC), the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC), and the BaSiC Initiative. The program was conceived through student research and design studios at the University of Texas School of Architecture. Alley flats are small, detached residential units accessed from Austin's extensive network of under-utilized alleys. The goal of the Initiative is to build two prototypes (one is currently under construction) to showcase innovative design and environmental sustainability features. The prototypes will demonstrate how sustainable housing can support growing communities by being affordable and adaptable. The long-term goal is to create a flexible and self perpetuating delivery system for sustainable and affordable housing in Austin and to demonstrate a process that might be replicated elsewhere.
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
ecoMOD is a research and design/build/evaluate project that is creating a series of ecological, modular and affordable housing units. The program works directly with affordable housing organizations to ensure sustainable housing is no longer a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Since 2004, the ecoMOD project has built a total of five units for Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA) and Habitat for Humanity (HFH). The housing units are designed and built by interdisciplinary teams of students, working closely with faculty and outside experts. After the homes are occupied, student evaluation teams monitor and evaluate them carefully, with the results guiding subsequent designs. ecoMOD is imbedded in UVA's curriculum and is structured to maximize educational opportunities. It is a partnership of the UVA School of Architecture and School of Engineering and Applied Science.
2008 Incentive Grants – $20,000 each
Architecture Handbook 2: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings
Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Architecture Foundation will develop the second level of its The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings (TAH2). The project's first level (TAH1) was a high school architecture curriculum published in the fall of 2007, which was an innovative pedagogical resource and model in the forefront of architecture and design education for high school students. TAH2 will be an online interactive and integrated curriculum for high school students and teachers to investigate the design and construction of green schools. It will serve the needs of upper level (junior and senior) Chicago public school students learning about architecture by utilizing web-based technology. A secondary audience will be high school students and teachers across the United States working within a classroom setting or independently.
Design + Build + Live Green
Youth Learning Academy (Charlottesville, VA)
Design + Build + Live Green (D+B+L) will be the green initiative of the Youth Learning Academy's Design + Challenge program, which promotes interest in construction as a career and builds tangible skills in building and design. D+B+L strengthens the Design + Challenge program with specific components on how to design, build and live green and demonstrates why sustainable practices are of the utmost importance in the building industry. The goals of the program include facilitating young people's involvement in sustainable building practices, expanding marketable skills, initiating hands-on training in sustainable building practices, and encouraging youth to transfer green awareness to their families and peers.
Green Building Technologies Course Curriculum
Eastern Iowa Community College District (Davenport, IA)
As part of the Renewable Energy Systems Technician program, Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD) plans to develop a four-credit course entitled Green Construction Technologies to provide students with the necessary skills to build quality, sustainable, and affordable housing. The course will give students hands-on experience with green technologies by learning through construction and will allow participating high school students to receive dual enrollment college credit. Individual green construction technology modules will also be developed to be inserted into existing EICCD two-year programs in areas such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, interior design, horticulture, and manufacturing maintenance.
Online Course Green Building Off the Grid: A Net-Zero Energy Residence
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe Community College will develop an online course to visually document the entire process of building an energy-efficient house that generates its power off the grid. The three-credit course will be part of a college certificate program in green building. Designed for students who are generally hands-on and visual learners, this audio-visual documentary will provide a more engaging and memorable presentation than traditional lectures and books. Each stage of the building project will be documented by video and will include listening to homeowners, builders, and subcontractors discuss design and construction elements such as the selection of materials, cost of green vs. traditional construction, amortization of costs by energy savings, and comfort and health benefits of green-built structures.
Collaborative Green Building Practice
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
The Collaborative Green Building Practice course emphasizes interactive learning experiences and critical thinking to help students understand the broad scope of green building practice. Instead of focusing on green building design, the course challenges students to go outside the classroom to interact with authorities, researchers, professionals and the public to learn about the key factors that influence how buildings are built and operate, including the roles of all key stakeholders. As a part of the course, teams of students produce a ten-minute documentary film for posting on an interactive course website.
Sustainable Architecture that Teaches (SAT) Curriculum
University of Maine Farmington
The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) has undertaken a commitment to establishing a culture of environmental sustainability. To that end, UMF will use its two new LEED(R) certified buildings to expand its sustainability efforts through a multi-level curriculum to influence university students as well as Pre-K to 12 teachers and students and community members. Three faculty members will incorporate the new LEED(R) certified buildings into their curricula and student leaders will serve as mentors to work closely with faculty and train future student leaders to carry on the curricular goals once they leave UMF. Pre-K to 12 students and teachers will learn not only about the green features of LEED(R) certified buildings, but how they can make a positive impact in their own homes. Teachers will also be given the opportunity to contribute to curricular development.