By Ritchie Lafaille, Office Associate
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Lab in India.
In the LEED Lab course, students learn the principles of LEED and assess the performance of existing facilities on campus, choosing one building where they will facilitate the LEED Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) process. Students drive the complete process of LEED O+M on a campus facility, with the goal of certifying the building.
The LEED Lab has been adopted by The Knowledge Institute of Technology (KIOT), Salem, Tamil Nadu, India, which will begin its first LEED Lab session in August. KIOT believes the concept of LEED Lab will allow students to jump-start their careers upon graduation and participation in the course will serve as inspiration to other Indian colleges for adoption.
The LEED Lab effort originated with a pilot course created and taught by Assistant Professor Patricia Andrasik at the Catholic University of America (CUA). From 2011–2014, CUA partnered with the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and GBCI to test the course concept. LEED Lab officially launched in January 2014, and since then, it has gone global with LEED Labs in 19 different institutions of higher education across the globe, including North America, Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia.
“LEED Lab is a key educational tool to prepare students for competitive 21st century careers in sustainability,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operating officer, USGBC, and president, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). “By educating the next generation of sustainability advocates in India, KIOT is committed to transforming existing campus facilities across India into more sustainable environments, while also providing students with the hands-on-experiences required to enter the workforce. I want to thank KIOT’s principal, Dr. P.S.S. Srinivasan, and the rest of the leadership at KIOT, for partnering with us to nurture and train a workforce that will be essential to addressing India’s future sustainability needs.”
LEED Lab is also designed to provide students with actual LEED project experience and an opportunity to experiment on ways to certify existing campus facilities through direct collaboration with faculty and a third-party green organization.