State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

LEED Green Building Skills Give Graduate Students an Edge

In December, students from the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy and the Master of Science in Sustainability Management programs added to their arsenal of environmental knowledge and skills by participating in a full day training workshop for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate credential.

YR&G, a consulting firm that provides technical and sustainability services worldwide, led the training for the LEED Green Associate credential. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system of standards, procedures, and verification systems, designed for the construction and retrofitting of buildings to improve sustainability, promote energy efficiency, and minimize environmental impacts. By receiving the LEED Green Associate credential, students will be able to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice and be eligible to work for companies that implement LEED standards.

David Katz, a student in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, viewed the LEED training as relevant to his studies because “LEED wants to change the market as a whole and become the standard for building, so it needs the sort of mass appeal that would affect a multitude of stakeholders,” like the stakeholders Katz hopes to work with in the future as an environmental policymaker.

BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard: A LEED Platinum Certified Building in NYC (Photo Credit: Dave Pinter 2011)

The one-day class educated students about how LEED works, including how to recognize strategies to achieve LEED credit category goals and how to understand the environmental intent for each LEED credit.  In addition, students were taught how to recognize strategies to achieve LEED credit category goals; explain the regulations, recognitions and incentives related to each LEED credit category; and various learning tips for passing the Green Associate exam. Students left the training session with a deeper understanding of general green building strategies, how companies register for LEED certification, and how accredited professionals can streamline and effectively manage the process of certifying LEED buildings and spaces.

Eileen Quigley, a student in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management Program felt the class aligned with her professional aspirations. She said, “Having a background in the building industry, the LEED GA exam seems like the logical next stop to getting my sustainability career off the ground. Being LEED-certified is a personal interest of mine as well.”

Students in the MPA in Environmental Science & Policy program enroll in a year-long, 54-credit program offered at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in partnership with The Earth Institute. Throughout this 12-month program, students are immersed in courses that combine Columbia University’s hands-on approach to teaching public policy and administration with pioneering thinking about the environment. To learn more about the program, please visit the program’s website or contact Alyssa Dubov, Program Coordinator, for more information.

Similarly, the 36 credit Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, jointly offered by the Earth Institute and the School of Continuing Education, is designed to meet the growing demand for sustainability managers and train leaders to bridge the gap between the principle of sustainable development and its practice. Please visit the program’s website to learn more, or contact Alyssa Dubov, Program Coordinator.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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12 years ago

Great to see that sustainable architecture and projects with green building certificates have become an important component of architects’ and builders’ thinking in many highly-developed parts of the world. As energy prices continue to climb, overall quality of life decreases and more people become aware of their personal impact on the environment, it seems that green building has finally moved from the fringe to the mainstream of the construction industry.

Spencer D
12 years ago

I think its fantastic how LEED certification is adding more well being to the planet. This is one of the best 12-month programs I have seen out there. Keep up the good work!

12 years ago

Interesting! How much does a LEED certification usually cost? I think the program would be worth every penny.

12 years ago

[…] Additionally, workshops in Life Cycle Analysis, sustainability metrics, climate change adaptation, LEED Green Associate and others have provided a wide range of tangible tools and skills that help position me as a […]

5 years ago

LEED Green Associate is a Professional Credential which demonstrates your basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations.