SEPTEMBER 2008

Area builders bring nation's first green job curriculum to district

The Green Builders Council of DC, located in Washington D.C., unveiled the first green collar job training curriculum for the Washington, D.C.-area construction industry.

The curriculum will train current construction workers, plus career and technical education students entering the District's construction trades programs, in environmentally-sensitive construction methods and green building rating systems as certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard.

Thanks in part to the leadership of the members of the Green Builders Council of DC, more than 100 buildings in the District, totaling over 120 million square feet, are already LEED certified.

Including planned projects, members of the Green Builders Council will be responsible for more than 200 million square feet of LEED certified construction in the District. Upon successful completion of this curriculum, students will earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them gain employment at these and other green building projects.

Specifically, the curriculum will train workers and students to be proficient in:

  • Recognizing the challenges that construction presents to the environment;
  • Understanding the life cycle phases of a building and their impacts on the environment;
  • Identifying eco-friendly alternatives to conventional building practices and understanding the costs and benefits of those alternatives, and;
  • Understanding the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating process and being able to apply construction practices that contribute to a building's LEED rating.

The new curriculum is the product of a partnership between the Green Builders Council of DC and the Florida-based National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

The Green Builders Council of DC and NCCER commissioned the Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure Research Team of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech University to develop the curriculum. An updated version will be prepared in the coming months to train workers in the U.S. Green Building Council's revised LEED standards for 2009.

The curriculum has been endorsed by the U.S. Green Building Council as well as Green Advantage, an organization providing environmental certification for construction trades workers who demonstrate knowledge of current green building principles, materials, and techniques.

The training curriculum will be taught by NCCER-accredited training sponsors, including the Academy of Construction & Design at Cardozo Senior High School.