The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the 2009 Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards and Incentive Grants to organizations and institutions spurring existing green building education projects, activities or programs, and developing new green building curricula.  The initiative is a central component of USGBC's commitment to identify and disseminate innovative green building curricula to educators across the country.

"Through this initiative, USGBC is recognizing those organizations that are taking the lead in the development of innovative green building knowledge and resources," said Rebecca Flora, Senior Vice President for Education & Research, USGBC. "The extraordinary rise in green building in recent years has accelerated the need for relevant and engaging educational programs, and all of our participating organizations are playing an active role in helping USGBC meet this important need."

Recognition Awards honor existing green building education projects, activities or programs, and includes a $1,000 honorarium. The Incentive Grants provide monetary support of $10,000 each for schools or organizations to develop new green building curricula.   The number of submissions increased over 30 percent in 2009, a significant rise in only the second year of the initiative.

"The growing interest and the impressive number of high-quality submissions indicates the program is reaching a wide-range of educators from many disciplines and that curricula and programs across the country and at various stages in the education process are using green buildings as innovative teaching tools," noted Margot McDonald, chair of USGBC's Formal Education Committee and Professor of Architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  

Winning organizations and institutions include a pre-K and kindergarten curriculum using the school's LEED Platinum certification to educate students on the value of a green building; a community college's efforts to expand an existing construction technology program to include a focus on alternative and renewable energy sources; and a multi-year architecture school‚s initiative to create a net-zero energy modular classroom prototype that architecture students will use as design studio space, creating a living laboratory.

The recognition awards were judged on demonstrated success, ability to be replicated, scope of influence, advancement of green principles within the educational community and the fostering of a collaborative or interdisciplinary approach. Grant proposals were evaluated on originality, collaborative or interdisciplinary approach, scope of influence, feasibility and the ability to be replicated.

Recipients of USGBC's 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Recognition Awards
Pre-K to 12 Category
• 4 Habitat: Building a Better Future, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
• Awareness Appreciation and Advocacy, Learning Gate Community School, Lutz, FL
• Green Dream House Design Contest , Castro Valley High School, San Leandro, CA
• Next.CC, University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
• "We Share the World" Preschool-Kindergarten Environmental Curriculum, Londonderry School, Harrisburg, PA

Honorable Mentions:
• Green Schools! Initiative, Project Learning Tree, Washington, DC
• Ground Up Design Education Program, Hester Street Collaborative, New York, NY
• The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, Covington, KY

Community and Technical Colleges Category
• The Building Energy Technologies Occupational Certificate Program, Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, IL
• Energy Efficient Residential Construction Education, Cleveland State Community College, Cleveland, TN
• Sustainable Design Initiatives (Arch 2840), College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL

Colleges and Universities Category
• The Bridge Studio, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
• The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology‚s (CASE) Build Ecologies (BE) Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
• Community Design Center: Building Recombinant Ecologies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
• The Duke Smart Home Program, Duke University, Durham, NC
• Master of Science in Sustainable Design Program, Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA

Honorable Mentions:
• Equidistant Projection Exercise Sequence, School of Constructed Environments (SCE), Parsons the New School for Design, New York, NY
• Landscape Architecture Students Help the Post-Disaster Community of Greensburg, KS, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
• Sci-Tech: A Technology Sequence for Generation Green, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Recipients of USGBC's 2009 Incentive Grants
Pre-K to 12 Category
• Teaching Tools for Our Future: Green Building Design/Environmental Innovation at the Ford Rouge!, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Detroit, M

Community and Technical Colleges Category
• Sustainable Design and Construction Certificate, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cincinnati, OH

Colleges and Universities Category
• HighPerPod: Zero Energy Classroom, University of Washington, Seattle, WA