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Designers: Educate Thyself, Part 2
No time for conferences? A sustainable design education is still within reach—as close as your keyboard.
Sure, it would be great to make it to Greenbuild this fall, but if you can’t, USGBC has brought its learning opportunities to you. Greenbuild365 offers a broad range of online courses, listed in a database that’s searchable by topic, profession, and learning level. Also available: selected proceedings from Greenbuild 2007.
Some of the courses are live online, others available anytime. Prices range from free to hundreds of dollars, and the courses are largely taught by advocacy groups and associations. For example, "LEED in Specifications" is presented by CSI, while the Energy Center of Wisconsin offers "Geothermal Technologies."
Greenbytes, also from USGBC, are brief snippets of green building information. There are videos, podcasts, and articles contributed by industry experts and USGBC staff. One that is sure to be popular is an article by Davis Langdon’s Peter Morris, "What Does Green Really Cost?" Everyone wants to know that.
The Boston Architectural College, in partnership with Building Green, offers sustainable design educational programming, both online and on campus. Courses may be taken individually or as part of the college’s Sustainable Design Certificate Program, which may provide participants, both graduate and undergraduate, additional and useful professional credentials.
Some of the courses require prerequisites, but most do not. They are offered in eight-week segments and are led by practicing design professionals and green building experts, many of whom I know and can recommend. Subject matter ranges from technical training in, for example, materials, indoor environmental quality, and energy, to a more generalized look at sustainable design.
Attending conferences has lots of perks you can’t get online—networking, nightly hors d’oeuvres, and fun airline adventures—but online learning is a valuable resource in your arsenal for saving the planet.