US Green Building Council Launches LEED Lab in India

New program integrates sustainability and LEED higher education to shape future leaders of the green building industry

LEED LogoThe U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of LEED Lab in India, a multidisciplinary immersion course that utilizes the built environment to educate and prepare students to become green building leaders and sustainability-focused citizens.

LEED Lab, which is already being offered at international universities in Latin America, the Middle East and Greater Asia, and has now been adopted by The Knowledge Institute of Technology (KIOT), a pioneer in the Indian education space, in Salem, Tamil Nadu. KIOT will begin its LEED Lab sessions this month.

“LEED Lab is a key educational tool to make students highly competitive in the 21st century green jobs market,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, COO, US Green Building Council, and president, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). “KIOT, by educating a new generation of builders, is committed to creating a more sustainable India, where buildings perform at a higher level and human health is prioritized and enhanced. I want to thank the leadership of KIOT as we both nurture and train a workforce that will be essential to addressing India’s future building needs.”

The course is a laboratory for students to experiment on ways to LEED certify existing campus facilities through direct collaboration between students, faculty and a third party green organization. LEED Lab implements the LEED Operations and Maintenance rating system within existing campus buildings seeking LEED certification for the first time and LEED Certified buildings seeking recertification.

In the course, students learn the principles of LEED and assess the performance of an existing facility on campus, choosing one building to implement LEED. They then manage a complete build out, with the goal of certifying it by the close of the semester.

The campus environment serves as the perfect learning laboratory to engage students in projects that are experiential, providing these individuals with the knowledge, expertise and skills needed to solve 21st century challenges. This course is targeted largely at students studying civil engineering, mechanical engineering and architecture.

The field of sustainable architecture is evolving, and architects, designers and owners are each measuring sustainable benefits in terms of their impact on human health, environment and cost implications.  Since it can take up to 80 years to make up for the environmental impacts of demolishing an old building and constructing a new one, LEED for Building Operation and Maintenance holds incredible promise for existing campus facilities. LEED promotes the ongoing implementation of best practices in building operations with the goal of sustaining high levels of performance throughout the life of a building.

The implementation of LEED reduces the environmental impact of buildings and grounds, has a positive effect on student, faculty and staff health, and prepares students to be global sustainability citizens.

LEED Lab, an initiative by US Green Building Council (USGBC), was launched in the U.S. in 2014 at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has expanded worldwide, with 18 universities participating in the program, including Feng Chia University in Taiwan and Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) in Peru, and an additional 100 international universities have expressed interest, including many in India. KIOT‘s adoption of LEED LAB, is the beginning of efforts to achieve market transformation of green buildings in India. To learn more visit LEED Lab.

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