SUSTAINABILITY + THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT. Introduction.

Written by Ivett Flores

Arquitecta apasionada del Diseño y la Sustentabilidad, Académica en la Maestría en Proyectos para el Desarrollo Urbano en la UIA CDMX. (+maratonista). Creo en la Ciencia y el Arte como elementos fundamentales del Proceso Creativo.

posted on febrero 19, 2020

I am currently working on a project related to Education and Sustainability in the Build Environment. In the middle researching more tools to shape the project, I found the “Green Classroom Professional Certificate” from the USGBC (US Green Building Council). Honestly, I thought that the content was superficial, but the target wasn’t Architects LEED AP (Accredited Professional), which is my case, but I decided to give it a chance because it is oriented to Education and Schools, and they are important elements in my project.
I really enjoy teaching in Universidad Iberoamericana, therefore the possibility to join Design, Architecture and share knowledge about Energy Efficiency open some possibilities.
As educators, we have a big opportunity to lead positive changes in classroom and schools.
A Green Classroom Professional could:
– Create a healthier learning environment,
– Promote energy efficiency and resource conservation, and
– Help students learn about the environment.
The information is an introduction about Green Buildings, especially Green Schools. The content is organized into twelve modules:

Image from https://www.usgbc.org/

Some interesting facts about GREEN SCHOOLS:
Every school day, 55 million students and 5 million teachers and staff are in elementary and secondary schools. That’s 20% of the population.
Students spend most of that time, and do most of their learning, in classrooms.
The classroom environment is critical:
– Air quality, light and noise affect learning outcomes and absenteeism;
– Unhealthy conditions can aggravate health issues, like asthma, and
– School supplies, furniture and materials can contain harmful substances.

Classrooms use a significant amount of energy; Schools spend an average of $145 per student per year on energy. That’s $8 billion a year.
As a Green Classroom Professional, we can do something about all these issues.
Green building strives to have a positive impact on the environment, human health and well-being.
Green building is an important way that our society can address environmental concerns.

Image from https://www.usgbc.org/

Green buildings improve the environment and have benefits in two other areas: social responsibility and economic prosperity. Together, these three benefits are called the triple bottom line.

Some people think that green buildings cost a lot more than traditional buildings. But actually, they don’t have to.
Many green improvements cost little or nothing. For example, setting up a recycling program at school can reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill with minimal cost.
Larger green investments save money over time.
For example, installing a high-efficiency heating and cooling system may be expensive, but the school will save on monthly energy bills. The investment pays for itself after a few years.
Looking at cost this way is called Life Cycle Analysis.

Image from https://www.usgbc.org/

The purpose of this post is just giving an overview about this Certification. Later, I will share deeper information about Sustainability, Tools, and relevant Energy Efficient Projects.

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