By Ashka Naik, Director of Capacity Building, Second Nature
(This article appears in the January, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)
Two years ago Second Nature undertook an extensive research project to understand the needs and challenges faced by the U.S. higher education institutions that were disenfranchised from the mainstream “Green Building” movement for a myriad of reasons. This inquiry, funded by the The Kresge Foundation, offered an in-depth look into the unique demographic, physical and economic as well as knowledge-based hurdles confronted by these institutions while pursuing sustainable building practices on their campuses.
The result was a 2-year strategic outreach and education program, “Advancing Green Building in Higher Education,” which was developed in 2008 by Second Nature and funded by The Kresge Foundation to assist under-served colleges and universities in their green building efforts. Second Nature proposed to use six activities, such as the Kresge Fellowship Program and the Green Building 101 Technical Assistance Grants Program, as vehicles for delivering these actions in an effective and timely manner. These activities provided a strategic path for influencing green building at under-resourced institutions because they: 1) focused on the places of highest leverage for advancing green building at academic institutions, including university leadership and the building industry, and 2) provided needed technical and institutional resources while also growing financial support for high leverage initiatives.
As 2010 came to an end, so did the first phase of Second Nature's Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative. Our team at Second Nature celebrates a successful completion of this extraordinary capacity-building program, and invites you to take a look at the highlights and success stories of this 2-year journey towards building a sustainable future for all higher education institutions!
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