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Building Science

LEED Can Change, Part Three: The Education Program

USGBC Education Provider Program
Image Credit: USGBC

Here’s where I start to get a bit giddy (I know that’s geeky). When I was teaching high school environmental science, I had my students create and carry out green building projects. Partially due to my excitement about the topic, I had some of the best results in that class of any unit that I taught. The basic model that I utilized for most of my major lessons was the same: I would verbally present the content, followed by a demonstration of the topic, and conclude with a lab or project so that the kids could experience the concept first-hand.

The students came up with some really cool green building stuff, like a homemade microhydro system, a native species garden on campus, and a strawbale fence. The see-learn-do method worked well, especially when I was enthusiastic about the lesson. I was obviously excited by green building because I went on to build and renovate green for eight years.

I’m giddy because the days of dry, myopic USGBC classes are soon to be over. The organization is rolling out a new curriculum to complement LEED Version 3 and the new LEED AP+ credentials. The content is shifting from dissecting each and every credit in the rating system to covering real-world green-building topics and utilizing case studies. The goals are to train attendees for project implementation of best practices, not simply to pass the LEED tests. With clearer learning paths, the course offerings will allow people to focus on the most appropriate area for their work — homes, schools, neighborhoods, etc.

The USGBC will continue to offer classes, along with the chapters and the Education Providers. Education Providers will offer peer-reviewed customized courses. All the courses offered by the USGBC education network can be found at GreenBuild 365. Some courses are live webinars, some are online on demand, some are instructor led, or a combination of the above.

There are three clear learning levels for the courses.

  • 100 Level: Awareness: for green building beginners to increase basic knowledge of sustainable building practices and LEED.
  • 200 Level: Understanding: for individuals with prior experience and knowledge with green building and LEED. These courses are designed to enhance and expand knowledge.
  • 300 Level: Application: for LEED implementation and green building problem solving.

LEED V3 Schedule

Here’s some scheduling info. Keep in mind, these dates are subject to change.

Available Now

Green Building Basics & LEED course (100 Level)

LEED Core Concepts & Strategies course (200 Level)

Green Building Operations and Maintenance: The LEED Implementation Process course (300 Level)

March 31 2009

Last date to register for the LEED NC AP exam

April 2009

LEED V3 roll out

May 2009

Green Home Design & Construction course offered

LEED AP+ Operations & Maintenance credential/exam launched

LEED Green Associate credential/exam launched

June 2009

Last chance to take the LEED NC AP exam

LEED AP+ Homes credential/exam launched

July 2009

Green Building Design & Construction course offered

Green Interior Design & Construction course offered

August 2009

New projects will be required to register for LEED 2009

September 2009

LEED AP+ Design & Construction credential/exam launched

LEED AP+ Interior Design & Construction launched

November 2009

Green Neighborhood Planning & Development course offered

REGREEN course offered

LEED Implementation for Schools course offered


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