We’re Talking Mojo!

The Society of College and University Planners just sent out this email:

In four days there have been more than 500 downloads of this week’s featured Planning for Higher Education article. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s available here for a limited time.We are already seeing some great Mojo discussion and blogging in response to Shannon Chance’s feature article “Learning from LEED & USGBC.” Chance is a registered architect and associate professor of architecture at Hampton University. Chance offers her insights on LEED & USGBC a model systems approach to sustainability for higher education planning. Like many other environmental and design professionals, she also recognizes its limitations.

Arlen Solochek agrees that “LEED and the resultant sustainability movement has been an absolute game changer for everyone.”  But while LEED has definitely “raised environmental consciousness,” it is not necessarily as “nimble and responsive” as it should be.  He also notes that LEED standards are becoming compulsory according to institutional and governmental regulation. Other limits include inflexible point system and the expense of soft costs and certification. Both Solochek and Chance agree that “the bigger issue is not just stopping at more sustainable buildings.  How many of our institutions are trying to infuse sustainable concepts into their academic courses, into their students’ and staff’s lives and habits outside LEED?” (Solochek).

According to Michael Haggans, Chance’s article “…balances criticism of the LEED ‘gaming-for-points’ process that many have seen in practice, with a well documented account of the evolutionary improvements that are now underway.” Alexandria Stankovich offers a student perspective on LEED & USGBC in relation to higher education planning on the Mojo blog.

If you’re going to 2012 GreenBuild, please pass this article around. And, please share in the Mojo what you learn.


Visit SCUP’s Planning for Higher Ed Mojo at: http://mojo.scup.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Learning from LEED

The Society of College and University Planners (SCUP) just published an article about my dissertation research.  It describes how campuses have contributed to and gained from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. You can download the paper or a brief synopsis using the links below.

Perhaps one of the USGBC’s greatest contributions to higher education lies in the model it providesas a large-scale learning organization.  This week SCUPers can enjoy reading Shannon Chance‘s 39-page article for Planning for Higher Education titled “Planning for Environmental Sustainability: Learning from LEED and USGBC.”  Because this is a long article, we’ve created a “Mojo Summary Guide” to the article. The guide doesn’t replace the article, but … well, you tell us what you think the Mojo Summary Guide does for you. Is it worth assembling?

What can SCUPers learn from LEED and from USGBC? Chance reports on her analysis of how institutions have used LEED, how the use of campus LEED has changed over time, and exhorts colleges and universities to both support USGBC and also learn from its structure as a learning organization.

Now, it is time for colleges and universities to step up their game. They should become leaders in green construction—not just followers that use a system designed, for the most part, by others. They must generate and apply new knowledge to help society achieve lasting sustainability. They must create buildings that do more to model good behavior, impart environmental values, and teach students about the environment. And, finally, they must re-design their funding mechanisms to facilitate comprehensive approaches to sustainability.

They should take cues from the USGBC about how to learn from experience and integrate feedback. Perhaps one of the USGBC’s greatest contributions to higher education lies in the model it provides as a large-scale learning organization. As an organization that monitors its own progress and continually revamps its systems, the USGBC has been able to achieve a visible and much-needed shift in American culture. American colleges and universities need to follow suit and become more proactive in the areas of environmental research and green construction.(emphasis added)

Visit SCUP’s Planning for Higher Ed Mojo at: http://mojo.scup.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network