Simon McGuinness asked me to speak about LEED with his Architectural Technology class.
65% of Ireland’s architects are unemployed today. Shocking. And sad.
Today, I got to speak to a room-full of these architects and architectural technologists. They come to DIT once a week — from all over Ireland — to learn about sustainability.
To be eligible to take this course, a person has to be receiving some form of unemployment assistance. The government funds this program as a way to infuse knowledge about green building into the community and help re-train this group so they can help address pressing social needs.
And what a fantastic audience! I was so caught up in the dialogue that I forgot to take a picture for you. I believe everyone in the room was older than me and likely had much more field experience.
And they were fully engaged, interested, and attentive! Full of energy and questions!
The teacher of the course, Simon McGuinness, had asked me talk about the nuts and bolts of documenting projects using the LEED Green Building rating system. That can be a very dry subject. But they took it in with enthusiasm.
During the one-hour talk, I got the chance to share some of the findings of my dissertation and the recommendations I made in the article I just published in Planning for Higher Education. I’ve included a gallery of those slides, below. Please see the article for details. (It got over 800 downloads!)
I described the system and how universities and K-12 schools use it.
I got to share recommendations from the paper I just published in Planning for Higher Education….
…these are conclusions I drew from my dissertation study.
I was shocked to find what a motivating factor the point totals were among the 446 universities buildings that earnd ratings prior to 2010.
I was impressed that the USGBC (which runs the LEED program) has been studying the performance of buildings and of its LEED system and making adjustments over time. They’ve upped the ante in the categories of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, and Energy and Atmosphere.
Here’s an example of how the USGBC is bringing greater attention to site design (by offering more points in critical areas).
I found that the category of Energy and Atmosphere was the #1 predictor of LEED rating among the 181 university buildings in my sample.
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
I just received great news about my article from one of the editors of Planning for Higher Education. Terry Calhoun left me this comment: “Shannon, as of this morning, we have 345 article/summary downloads. So, people are reading, even if not yet commenting.”
I have to say: that’s a truly amazing number of downloads. It’s a testament to the quality of the organization (the Society of College and University Planners) and its new platform for sharing ideas.
Erin Eife and I discussed the ins and outs of applying to grad schools in between programmed sessions at the Fulbright Orientation.
On another note, Fulbright Ireland just posted a piece on taking the GRE in Dublin that was written by Erin Eife who is a recent college graduate who is conducting research on recidivism among females who have been jailed.
Erin and I sat next to each other at the Fulbright Orientation in September. We got to talking about grad school and I answered some of her questions about degree paths and about selecting and applying to grad schools.
Erin has since written to thank me for the advice and let me know that she’s following through! I love getting this type of feedback! It’s not often that you hear you’ve made an important difference simply by sharing your experiences.
Erin has got big dreams and I have every confidence that she’ll succeed with the applications she’s submitting this fall.