Higher Education | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Posted in Community
Published on
Posted in Community

At USGBC, we are dedicated to greening higher education. We place a high priority on measuring and understanding the current state of higher education and identifying tactics for how we can transform our existing campuses to become sustainable communities.

USGBC supports campus sustainability by providing solutions to transform your existing buildings and infrastructure and by supporting the creation of innovative curriculum solutions that create pathways to professional credentials, helping prepare students for 21st century careers in sustainability.

Show leadership in green building and operations

  • Implement green building policies and strategies: Together we can transform our colleges and universities in powerful ways and help faculty, staff and students seize interconnected opportunities. Green campuses reduce the environmental impact of buildings and grounds, have a positive effect on health and prepare students to be global sustainability citizens. Higher education institutions are committing to sustainability and climate neutrality on a daily basis and have shown tremendous leadership in the green building movement.

    If you are interested in showing leadership and transforming your campus, we now have several rating systems available to you, which can be integrated into the development or ongoing maintenance of your current and future projects. Higher education institutions can enhance the performance of their facilities, infrastructure and site features on their campus by pursuing LEED, Parksmart, PEER, SITES, TRUE and WELL certification. These different rating systems cover nearly ever facet of a sustainable built environment. Visit gbci.org to get started and learn more.
  • Conduct a campus assessment. The Campus Assessment is a chance for USGBC to meet with institutions of higher education to learn more about the sustainability initiatives on campus, share our new and exciting programs and discuss how we can better support your institutions to achieve the campus’ sustainability goals for the physical environment. We would like to learn about what plans are in the works for buildings, site development and reducing resource consumption, and share our efforts around building performance, zero waste, sustainable sites and parking, energy efficiency and distribution and human health and wellness. Contact us to schedule a Campus Assessment.
  • Use the Campus Implementation Workbook: The workbook is designed to assist higher education campus teams with creating a green existing buildings program, implementing the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system at the campus and building level, and establishing a culture of performance.

Integrate sustainability in your curriculum

USGBC is working to integrate sustainability and green building concepts into curriculum starting at Pre-K through post-secondary education with the goal of preparing students for careers in sustainability.

  • Educate yourself on green building: Watch Green Building for Everyone and LEED 101: Green Building Basics & LEED v4. Promote these courses to your students who receive free access with a USGBC account.
  • Subscribe to Education @USGBC: Subscription access to Education @USGBC features more than 600 hours of green building and sustainability education. This growing library highlights best-in-class courses and resources to grow knowledge and fulfill continuing education for LEED credentials, AIA, and others. Watch our video to find out what is included in the Education @USGBC platform and the three subscription options for post-secondary instruction.
  • Enhance your courses: Use a Curricular Toolkit to enhance your courses. The toolkits in this series provides higher education faculty curated access to resources and processes, organized to aid in teaching about and engaging students in the concepts of sustainability. The materials can be adapted and scaled to fit a variety of class topics, degree programs, and student learning levels. Each toolkit will also point to the Education @USGBC platform for additional content that students can access to improve their studies and expand their knowledge.
  • Prepare your students for the LEED Green Associate Exam: Use this Study Plan to prepare to teach a LEED GA Prep course. The syllabus can be expanded for a full academic term. Educators and students receive special pricing on the LEED Green Associate Study Bundle, a key exam prep resource. Interested in having your institution serve as a testing site? Contact GBCI to inquire what is available for post-secondary institutions.
  • Host a LEED Lab on your campus: LEED Lab is a multidisciplinary immersion course that utilizes the built environment to educate and prepare students to become green building leaders and sustainability focused citizens. In the course students assess the performance of existing facilities on campus and choose one building where they will facilitate the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) process with the goal of certifying the facility. At the close of the semester the students are prepared to sit for the LEED AP O+M professional credential exam. Bring LEED Lab to your school.
  • Tell your students to join our global community: Recommend that your students join the global USGBC Students community. The global USGBC Students community is the most wide-ranging group of students — of all ages — working together to sustain our future. USGBC Students have access to the largest network of sustainability professionals around the world, as well as opportunities to network and volunteer with local community groups.