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SDSU Designs New Certification Program for ‘Green’ Professionals

San Diego State University is now offering a new professional certificate program to address the growing interest in green building practices. The first course, fundamentals of green building design and construction, starts next month.

Wendy Evers, a director at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, said the campus has been working on the curriculum for a year.

As with all of our programs, we want to offer our professional students the opportunity to advance their careers, said Evers.

Julie Meier Wright, chief executive officer of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., said she endorses the program.

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“Sustainability is not only a hot topic but an emerging market in San Diego,” she said on SDSU’s Web site.

The certificate is geared toward professionals interested in the implementation of sustainable building tools and strategies as well as others who recognize the emerging importance of sustainable design and its impact, according to extended studies Dean Joseph B. Shapiro.

The courses will cover the U.S. Green Building Council’s leadership in energy and environmental design standards. LEED certification is the benchmark for green building construction.


Training Offered

The USGBC also offers training for those who demonstrate familiarity with LEED certification.

More than 43,000 people have earned the LEED-accredited professional credential. According to the USGBC, more than 500 of those work in San Diego.

Stephen Kapp, board member and immediate past president of the USGBC San Diego chapter, said SDSU’s program will fill a gap for broader education for construction professionals and trades who are increasingly involved with green building projects or responding to bids for green elements or green-certified projects like LEED.

Numerous construction, design and planning businesses in San Diego support green education initiatives and accreditation. The San Diego offices of DPR Construction Inc., Carrier Johnson and NTD Architecture have LEED-certified professionals on staff. Eighty percent of San Diego-based KMA Architecture & Engineering architects have earned, or are about to earn, LEED status.

The firm’s benefit package includes tuition reimbursement for green training.

Joyce Peabody, principal with KMA Architecture, said green building practices are smart building practices.

The first course offered in SDSU’s program will cover the fundamentals of green building design and construction. The online course, which runs April 7 through May 8, provides an overview of design and construction delivery systems for high-performance green buildings.

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