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Green Building & Sustainable Development

Educational Opportunities to Take Your Green Job to the Next Level

The Northwest leads the nation in green building, a sector of the economy that is an important engine of growth. In fact, the US Green Building Council estimates that the green building industry was worth close to $12 billion in 2007. As the green job arena grows and changes, the need for continuing education for trained professionals has never been greater. Meanwhile, building industry workers who want to gain green knowledge also need new and flexible educational opportunities.

Recognizing that need, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council is partnering with a continuing education training network called the National Sustainable Building Advisor Program (NaSBAP) to offer more resources and professional learning opportunities as part of the newly formed Cascadia Sustainability Academy. The current Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA) program is a 9-month certification course and exam available to working professionals interested in applying sustainable concepts to building, design, development, and construction. This new partnership brings Cascadia's wide-ranging green experience into the classroom and will expand the program with additional technical resources and energy.

"As part of the new Academy, the SBA program will provide an enhanced comprehensive sustainable building curriculum to practicing professionals to give them the tools they need to make the built environment truly sustainable," says Jason F. McLennan, CEO of Cascadia. "It will also create an important link to active green building groups around the nation and eventually across the globe."

Since 1999, over 500 professionals have completed the SBA program, which is currently offered in 10 locations across the United States and Canada. The number of school programs is targeted to double for the 2008-2009 academic year. Providing an in-depth overview of sustainability in both the commercial and residential fields, the program has attracted architects, contractors, engineers, real estate agents, and building managers.

In addition to the SBA program, the Cascadia Sustainability Academy will offer educational programs for commercial brokers, as well as building professionals interested in Cascadia's Living Building Challenge.

The Green Broker Certification program, offered in conjunction with the Commercial Broker's Association (CBA) as a web-based seminar series, will teach brokers what they need to know in the fast-growing green building marketplace.

The Living Building Leader program will focus on advanced-level training for architects, engineers and other design professionals wanting to know how to design buildings to the Living Building Standard - the most stringent green building standard in the industry.

The following schools will offer the SBA program this fall: Seattle Central Community College, Olympic College, Tacoma Community College, Community Colleges of Spokane, Mt. Hood Community College, Central Oregon Community College, Northwest Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College, New College of California, Santa Monica College, Bucks County Community College, SUNY Ulster, and Light House Sustainable Building Centre.

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