Butte College has initiated numerous green practices --from campus-wide recycling reclaiming 80 percent of its waste stream to one of the largest solar arrays for a community college-- but the college's newest effort toward a green future is the addition of classes and community workshops focused on supporting students and the community in obtaining green jobs.
Three new "green" courses, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), will be offered for the first time in the Spring 2009 semester and "green" workshops are now being offered through The Training Place starting in January. Both the courses and the workshops are designed for students, contractors, landscapers, interior designers, facility managers, homeowners and any one interested in learning about sustainability.
While the NSF grant was awarded for the purpose of establishing two green building technology education courses, the college was able to exceed the grant expectations creating an additional class and an overall expansion of the program.
"We were able to leverage the grant to develop a total of three classes which will utilize the college's green LEED certified buildings and facilities projects as living classrooms for hands-on training opportunities," said Jon Stallman, Butte College's Sustainability Coordinator.
Green Building Technology and Practices is a three-unit course in which students will learn about the green building practices used in construction, interior design, inspection and architecture as well as explore concepts from the U. S. Green Building Council and Build It Green certification programs.
Another three-unit course, titled, "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Systems," provides students with an introduction to energy efficient strategies and renewable energy systems such as solar and wind for residential and commercial applications, plus efficient home energy practices, strategies, design options, construction techniques, and renewable power systems.
Students enrolled in the three-unit Green Building & LEED Certification course will prepare to become certified leaders in green building practices for commercial and residential projects through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building program.
Ultimately, says Stallman, the goal is to offer a sustainability certificate program so graduates can enter the workforce while also offering students the ability to take sustainability courses that transfer to four-year institutions.
Butte College's Training Place in Chico is now offering a series of sustainability workshops including, "Green Education: Residential & Commercial Consumers," focused on the three principles of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
"The workshops are designed for both the business owner and homeowner who want to learn more about what sustainability and ‘going green' really means," said Annie Rafferty, Director of the Training Place. "Sustainability can mean a lot of things to many people. All of the workshops start with the very basic concepts of sustainability so that people feel comfortable with what sustainability is and learn how to incorporate sustainability into their lives, homes and businesses."
The workshops are $45 per session and are being taught by Stallman on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon and include the following sessions:
Jan. 31, 2009: Green Home & Business Facility Improvements
Feb. 21: Energy & Utility Bill Savings
March 7: Healthy Environments: Awareness for the Home & Workplace
"The more consumers know about green products and development, the more they will be looking to buy those products which in turn will help drive those businesses, create more jobs and grow the sustainability industry locally," explained Rafferty.
To register for a Butte College Green Building courses call Jon Stallman at 530-893-7735 or email: email@example.com. For more information or to register for the Green Education Saturday workshops call the Training Place at 530-895-9015.