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ERIC Number: EJ791993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-11
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Cost and Red Tape Hamper Colleges' Efforts to Go Green
Carlson, Scott
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n31 pA1 Apr 2008
This article describes how the certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council has been a popular way for colleges to "go green," but its certification process has been hampering colleges' efforts. The private, nonprofit Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program has become synonymous with green construction, and has kick-started a national conversation about energy efficiency, recycled building materials, and healthy work environments. In higher education, where sustainability is a hot issue, LEED certification is often a visible symbol of a college's commitment. Since LEED began in 2000, more than 1,500 college projects have been registered in the LEED program, most in the past couple of years. But some college officials are raising questions about the process of LEED certification. Some say it emphasizes less-important priorities in building. Others believe the certification is costly and a pain. They think they can follow LEED's principles to build green, without having to go through the expense and hassle of certifying. The U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization founded in 1993, devised LEED to encourage commercial builders to incorporate more green practices and to get more people talking about energy efficiency, recycled components, and healthy buildings that feature natural light and materials low in toxins. Its certification levels are based on a point system: Use wood from sustainably managed forests, get a point. Use low-toxin paints on the walls, get another point, and so on. Builders can earn up to 69 points; projects are awarded basic LEED certification at 26 points, a silver rating at 33 points, a gold at 39 points, and platinum, the highest ranking, at 52 points. The points were originally arranged so that builders who had no inclination to go green could pick up easy points--by, say, installing a bike rack, worth one point. Getting halfway there on easy points might inspire them to shoot for certification and take on more-challenging green-building features, or so the strategy went. The article provides both examples of how the strategy has worked, and cases where institutions have decided that cost and hassle are too much.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A