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Introduction to 3 Certification Programs for Sustainable Buildings


  • Project TitleIntroduction to 3 Certification Programs for Sustainable Buildings
  • Employer SiteLinnean Solutions
    5 Upland Road, #3
    Cambridge, MA 02140
  • Submitted By (Teacher Name)CHRIS COUGHLIN
  • SchoolEverett High School, Everett, MA
  • Brief Description and RationaleBuildings are amongst the highest energy users on the planet. There is currently a big push to make our Built Environments (human-made spaces where people live, work, and recreate...) much more energy efficient, with the ultimate goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions.

    The World Green Building Council definition of a net zero carbon building is "a building that is highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources." ( Three of the leading Green Building Certification programs are: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the Living Building Challenge (LBC), and WELL (Certification from the International WELL Building Institute). There are several economic, and environmental advantages to having your building certified through LEED, LBC, or WELL. The Green Building Industry, with its many peripherals, is a growing industry with lots of room for expansion.

    This lesson is a mere introduction to 3 solid sustainable / resilient building / built environment certification programs, and is aimed at sparking an interest, or fanning a flame, within our high school students who may begin to explore and get engaged in the Resilient Building Career Fields. One of our educational goals in presenting these three building certification programs, is that students will take this introductory knowledge and build on this foundation through further research that may lead toward a rewarding career in construction or building design while, at the same time, helping improve our living and working environments.

    Essential Questions:
    What are 3 Building Certifications for "Green Buildings?"
    What are the key differences between the Living Building Challenge (LBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and WELL (International WELL Building Institute) building rating/certification programs?
    Why is the Living Building Challenge (LBC) building certification program considered the most rigorous?
    What do we need to consider when we want to build an environmentally friendly building?
    What is the best way to design / build an energy efficient house (residence) or commercial building?
    What is the value of creating an energy efficient / environmentally friendly building?
    How can a building design improve people‘s quality of life?
    What are the economic benefits to having a building certified?
  • Grade LevelGrades 9-12
  • Materials / ResourcesDesktop or Laptop Computer and Video Projector to run Powerpoint Presentation
    Large Poster Paper / Block Paper (One for each student group)
    "Do Now" Half-Page Handout
    Sustainable Materials Ideas List
    Markers (for group work posters)
    Chromebooks or Ipads, etc. for research (Follow-up to Intro. class)
  • Duration of lessonOne 75 minute class period
    (Can also be broken up into multiple class periods)
  • Key Vocabulary/Word Wallemissions
    gray water
    LBC (Living Building Challenge)
    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
    WELL (International WELL Building Institute)

  • Pre-Requisite KnowledgeBasic knowledge of building construction concepts / design
  • Any modifications or extensions for particular student populations?For English Learners (E.L. students), additional Key Vocabulary may be necessary with additional time required for vocab. learning. (Efficient, Efficiency, Waste water, Sewage, etc.) Beginning E.L.‘s may need to learn the names of rooms in a house / building (basement, attic, etc). Photos / pictures / drawings may be helpful to help new E.L.‘s understand vocab. and or concepts. Extra time may be a necessary modification.

    504‘s and IEP‘s will be followed.
  • Instructional Objectives Students will be able to (SWBAT) Identify and briefly summarize three Sustainable Building Certification programs.

    Students will be able to (SWBAT) explain the key benefits of acquiring a building certification.

Lesson Outline

  • Anticipatory set or lesson opening (to activate students` prior learning or draw student interest or involvement)"Do Now" actiivity:
    (on a half piece of paper, teacher provided) Students answer basic knowledge question:

    What can we do to lower our utility bills (electricity / water bills) at home?

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/Do Now1.docx

  • Direct InstructionTeacher created brief Powerpoint presentation on showing the 3 "Green Building" certifications, LEED (3 slides), WELL (2-3 slides), and Living Building Challenge (LBC) (3-5 slides)

    (10–15 minutes)

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/3 GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATIONS (2).pptx

  • Guided PracticeGroup work – 4 Corners of the room on poster paper attached to wall (Blue Painter`s tape works well) (15–20+ minutes)

    Each group will design a house or commercial building including 3-5 products or materials that make the building more sustainable and / or energy efficient.

    (A list of possible products / materials can be distributed or displayed for students to choose from if necessary.)

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/Sustainable Materials Ideas.docx

  • Independent Practice/Differentiated ActivitiesFor "Independent Practice," students could use popular search engines on the Internet to research various certifications (professional credentials) that would help them advance their careers in the "green building industry." (LEED AP, etc.)

    One possible differentiated activity is to have students choose an alternative energy source (other than fossil fuel sources) such as wind-power (windmills) or photovoltaic energy (solar panels), and draw a "concept map" or diagram showing the energy source attached to a house or other building. Students should label their diagrams with explanations of why and how those alternative energy sources would work well with their building site.

  • Lesson ClosureWrap-up, have students voluntarily summarize the 3 Sustainable Building Certification Programs. This could be done

    EXIT TICKET: Students choose one of three buildings; a school building, a corporate headquarters building, or a hospital. They need to explain (in writing) which one of the three building certification programs would be best for their building and why.
  • Summative/end of lesson assessmentQUIZ on the 3 Sustainable Building Certification Programs (10 Questions + Writing)

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/SUSTAINABLE BLDG QUIZ.docx

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/QUIZ ANSWERS.docx

  • References / Resources / Teacher PreparationLBC (Living Building Challenge)>lbc
    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)>leed
    WELL (International WELL Building Institute)

    Note: Brad from the Living Building Challenge, International Living Future Institute gave me permission to use Living Building Challenge photos (from Living Building Challenge Volumes 3.1 and 4.0) for educational purposes, as long as we give them attribution. LBC and ILFI appreciate our sharing their mission with students, says Brad. 8/22/19

    See LBC Petals & Imperatives Attachment to view the 7 LBC "Petals" (Performance Categories) and 20 Imperatives (Requirements)
  •  /project667_6982/Screen Shot 2019-08-20 at 2.31.14 PM.png/project667_6982/Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 10.03.01 PM.png/project667_6982/LBC Petals  and  Imperatives.png

Recommended Strategies / Instructional Techniques

  • Reading StrategiesStudents will read Headings and Sub-Headings in order to better understand content.
    (PPT Presentation will contain Headings, Sub-Headings, and pictures to help students to comprehend content)

    Reciprocal Reading: In small groups, students take turns reading short paragraphs about green building rating systems, generating questions about those paragraphs, clarifying key vocabulary and new concepts, and briefly summarizing what was read.

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategy (f.e. slides)Powerpoint Presentation (7 Slides) on the 3 types of Green Building Rating Systems (Certification types)

    PPT Presentation can be modified, pictures added, etc.

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/3 GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATIONS (2).pptx

  • Graphic organizers or handouts"Do Now" Handout –
    Distribute a half-page of lined paper to each student with the question: How can you make your house / apartment more energy efficient? or What are three things you can do to make your house / apartment more energy efficient, and lower your utility bills?

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/Do Now1.docx

  • Writing StrategiesWritten Assessment at the end of class. Quiz with multiple choice / completing sentence frames / Open Response Question about the Green Building rating systems / Green Building Certification Programs.

    Summarize in writing using main ideas. A good summary paragraph can be written by using three main ideas sandwiched between an introductory sentence and a concluding sentence. This is an excellent writing strategy for English Learners as well as native English speakers. Written summarizing using main ideas should be explicitly taught and practiced.

    View/Download File: /project667_6982/SUSTAINABLE BLDG QUIZ.docx

  • Speaking and Listening StrategiesGroup work – Out of seats, 4 corners, posters of various buildings.

    OPTION !: Groups choose which building design is the "Greenest" or most Sustainable / Resilient. Groups explain their reasoning for their choices.
    (Each poster shows 2-4 buildings with various degrees of "Sustainability" factors (solar panels, etc.)

    OPTION 2: Groups have 10-15 minutes to design their own "Green Buildings" on posterboard / butcher block paper. (Teacher could supply pre-made picture cut-outs of materials / building products that students can choose to add to their building drawings.)
  • Family: Any opportunities to involve parent/guardians and other family members in this project?Talk with parents / guardians about how to lower utility bills at home (energy efficient light bulbs, etc) Take photos of Light bulbs, etc. and real implemented changes around the house / apartment, or possible changes that may save energy... This could be a fun / enlightening Homework assignment....

  • VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance
    Identify and explain components of a green building design.
    (VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance)
  • VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance
    Define and demonstrate energy efficiency in the selection and use of building materials.
    (VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance)
  • VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance
    Identify and explain green building rating systems.
    (VTE Strand 2 - Technical - Building and Property Maintenance)

Tags = construction-design | GREEN-BUILDING-RATINGS | -Select- | Subject = ELA, Science, Technology, CVTE, Other: Construction Technology | Grade Level = HS | Time Period = School Year | Program/Funding = | Externships-2019 |
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