New Site Tailors Green Building Resources to Higher Education
If you have anything to do with the buildings on your campus, Second Nature's latest offering, Campus Green Builder, is the website for you.
The site promises to act as "a one-stop online resource on campus green building that is free and accessible to all higher education institutions." It will include links to green building resources as well as experts’ directories; case studies (accounts from Spelman College, the College of Menominee Nation, East Los Angeles College, and Richland College are already live); announcements of green building and campus sustainability events, workshops, and webinars; free user accounts; and a blog for commenting and networking.
As the cost for green buildings goes down,and the standards for what counts as "green" go up, this information will be crucial. Amy Seif Hattan, director of strategic initiatives at Second Nature, notes that her experience at Middlebury taught her that with a little ingenuity and the right information, sustainable buildings don't have to break the bank:
"Supporting the local economy through green building was not only the right thing to do, but was not a significant extra expense. At the time the wood was ordered the exact cost was unknown, but what
Middlebury College did know is that the timber received might actually
be of higher quality than was expected. The estimate was that the wood
could cost 2-3% more than non-certified wood, but that it could also
save the college money."
She goes on to note that after a streak of new green buildings, the school is now focused on adaptive reuse and retrofitting old buildings for efficiency, which is the kind of thing that under-resourced schools, such as Minority-Serving Institutions, community and technical
colleges, and the US Department of Education’s Title III and V
institutions, which are the primary intended audience for the site, may find most useful.