Second Nature Launches Large Web Portal to Help Colleges & Universities Build and Renovate ‘Green’
For Immediate Release
November 3, 2009
Contact: Gina Coplon-Newfield 617-571-4523
(Boston, MA) Today, the national nonprofit Second Nature launched a new free, interactive web site, the Campus Green Builder, at www.campusgreenbuilder.org to help universities and colleges build and renovate sustainably on their campuses. The web portal is the first of its kind in the higher education sector, providing hundreds of links to green building-related web sites, directories of experts, and resources for training and funding opportunities.
The site is relevant to all higher education institutions but is particularly geared towards community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, religiously-affiliated institutions, and other schools that in many cases have fewer resources and growing interest in ‘green building.’
“Whether someone wants to learn about green building grants, financing renewable energy on campus, workshops on building renovations, hiring the right green contractor, or anything else pertaining to green building in higher education, this site is the go-to place,” said Ashka Naik, Program Manager at Second Nature whose team spent months preparing this web portal.
The site presents compelling case studies to serve as models, including those now featured: Spelman College, College of Menominee Nation, Richland College, and East LA Community College. Campus Green Builder visitors will find announcements of green building and campus sustainability conferences and workshops as well as news regarding the green building in higher education arena. They will also be able to participate in a blog through which they can ask questions and share lessons learned.
Additionally, under-resourced schools that visit the Campus Green Builder site will learn about special discounted offers to access BuildingGreen Suite and for membership in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). They will also be able to take part in Campus Green Building 101 for Building Contractors, where they can apply for technical assistance grants that offer training opportunities for the building professionals who work at their schools.
The Campus Green Builder site “gives information about lessons learned so we don't have to feel that we are the first in trying what may be new technologies for our campus,” says Cindy Klein-Banai, Associate Chancellor for Sustainability at University of Illinois at Chicago.
The development of Campus Green Builder is part of the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education initiative launched by Second Nature in 2009, made possible by a $1.2 million grant from The Kresge Foundation. The goals of the initiative are to make green building at colleges and universities “business as usual,” to level the playing field for all institutions of higher education to access funding and technical resources for green building, and to encourage schools to commit to climate neutrality through the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In addition to the web portal, the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education initiative also provides green building fellowships for senior college and university managers, regional institutes for minority-serving institutions in partnership with United Negro College Fund, and strategic direction for green building education in collaboration with the US Green Building Council.
Buildings account for an estimated 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to global climate change. In the higher education arena, more and more institutions are constructing high-performance, healthy facilities that reduce or eliminate harmful emissions and waste. However, many religious, community, technical, minority-serving and state-supported institutions have fewer resources to spend on bricks and mortar projects, less in-house knowledge about green building, and limited opportunities to learn from peer schools that have excelled in this arena. Many are unaware that environmentally responsible construction can result in 10-20% annual energy savings over the long term.
Second Nature is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that works to accelerate movement towards a sustainable future by helping senior college and university leaders in making sustainability the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which has been signed by more than 650 school presidents who are committed to eliminating carbon emissions on campus and training students to help society address the climate crisis.
For more information on the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education initiative and the new Campus Green Builder web portal, please contact Amy Hattan (email@example.com), Second Nature’s Program Manager of the Advancing Green Building Initiative. Please click here for a printer-friendly version of this press release.