U.S. Green Building Council Approves Sustainability Studies Courses Offered by UC Berkeley Extension

UC Berkeley Extension recently announced its new designation as a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Provider. USGBC sets the standards for the green building industry in the United States and abroad through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification program. UC Berkeley Extension is the first continuing education program at the University of California, and one of the few public continuing education programs in the country, to offer USGBC-approved course credits.

With the Obama administration’s budget proposal this week for $2.4 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs—and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ prediction of a 30 percent growth over the next decade in top green jobs such as mechanical engineer, environmental engineer, environmental educator, and landscape architect—the demand is growing among professionals for more green industry education.

The UC Berkeley Extension sustainability courses approved by USGBC are designed to meet that growing demand. They include advanced courses in solar, sustainable construction, renewable energy, transportation, clean technology, and sustainability leadership and management. All USGBC-approved courses are rigorously peer-reviewed and approved for credit toward LEED Professional Credentialing Maintenance.

UC Berkeley Extension’s Sustainability Studies program includes more than 60 courses for professionals in emerging green industries. The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability in a broad range of important areas including green building design and construction, LEED, solar and renewable energy, climate change and land use planning, and clean technologies. This spring, UC Berkeley Extension offers several new sustainability studies courses, as well as two new specialized programs of study: Leadership in Sustainability and Environmental Management and Solar Energy and Green Building.

[SOURCE: PRnewswire]

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Sustainable Sites gets coverage in Biocycle

The Sustainable Sites Initiative launched the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009 in November 2009 has received more recent press coverage from the December issue of Biocycle magazine. The article looks at the history of the Initiative and explores the Ecosystem as a Baseline. The article also looks at the pilot program and the industry acceptability of the Performance benchmarks. for a good read go to the article at the Biocycle – Performance Guidelines for Sustainable Sites – Vol.50 No.12 Pg. 32

Remember that pilot program applications need to be submitted by February 15.

Calls for Collaboration between professions

Susan Szenasy posted on Metropolis an article titled “United We Stand” in which she recalls some government officials giving encouragement at a recent NeoCon East annual trade show that there is “a new day for government design”. Szeasy goes on to talk about the importance to design of the recent $5.5 billion allocation to General Services Administration and the Department of Defense’s $7.4 billion reconfiguration funding.

However the point I found most interesting in Szenasy’s article was the GSA signing of a new accord with AIA, ASLA, IIDA; in which they have pledged to collaborate to achieve design excellence. I find this encouraging that professional associations have come together.

Currently, there is change occurring not just in the short-term with the Global Financial Crisis, but it seems more and more that sustainability, the environment, and climate change is becoming more important to the world. I feel that we need to move forward with new ideas and be armed with new tools especially in the area of urban design where cities are shrinking in the USA, new eco-towns are being built in the UK and new mega-cities are being designed and constructed in China, India, and Africa. Now is the best time to seek out other disciplines for collaboration not just for the networking and possible work opportunities but for the greater good of the profession. As Landscape Architects I know we often seek collaboration with other disciplines whether they are internal or external of our companies, however I think that as we head towards a new decade we should make more of a commitment to further collaborate with other professions to improve your knowledge and their knowledge so that together we can create a better future.

By Damian Holmes

Read the full article that inspired this post at the [SOURCE: Metropolis - United We Stand]

MIT wins Major Urban Design Competition

A redevelopment plan drafted by an interdisciplinary team from the School of Architecture + Planning has been chosen as the winning scheme in the seventh annual Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition of the Urban Land Institute.

The SA+P team competed against 91 teams from 42 universities – including North America’s top schools in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture – a field that was then narrowed to four finalists. The jury chose the MIT entry over plans submitted by other finalist teams from Columbia, Kansas State and the University of Miami.

The result was announced following presentations by the finalists during a public forum at the University of Denver. Sharing the top prize of $50K, the SA+P team included MCP candidates Blair Humphreys, Jesse Hunting and Sarah Snider, MArch candidate Duncan McIlvaine, and Eric Komppa of the University of Wisconsin, an MBA student specializing in real estate. Their advisor was Tunney Lee.

The winning entry, Panorama Station, focused on creating a destination in the Denver region – a place where people would enjoy living, working or visiting for the afternoon – by taking advantage of the site’s greatest assets while improving the lifestyle for future residents and existing neighbors.

It provides public spaces that maximize the view of the mountains to the west and supports a car-free lifestyle by giving residents access to all daily amenities and services within a 15-minute travel time. In response to the arid climate, it also integrates water-conserving landscapes by choosing native plants and introducing rainwater retention infrastructure.

Read more and to see the design go to the SOURCE: MIT – SA+P Team Wins Major Urban Design Competition

Eli Cohen’s sustainability and phytoremediation lecture

Eli Cohen recently gave a lecture as one of the Freshkills Park lecture series and the Freshkills Blog posted this on Wednesday

Eli Cohen gave a terrific talk Monday night on his work, as director of Ayala Water and Ecology, using plants to remove pollutants and contaminants from water, soil and air. We’re grateful to the huge crowd that poured into the Arsenal gallery for the event, to Laura Starr and Yamit Perez for putting us in touch with Eli and, of course, to Eli himself for sharing his work and his thoughts.

The Freshkills Park Blog post also includes the MP3 and PDF of the presentation for listening and viewing.

[SOURCE: Freshkills Park Blog]

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