Kresge Announces New Higher Green Building Standards for Challenge-grant Applicants in Higher Education
May 22, 2009 — The Kresge Foundation announced today that it is raising the bar on green building requirements for challenge grants awarded to applicants in the higher-education sector.
Effective June 2010, the foundation will only consider proposals for facilities-capital grants from colleges and universities that plan to use the funding for building projects – new construction, renovations, and expansions – that meet the Silver or higher level certification standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) program or an equivalent rating agency.
Kresge is giving one-year advance notice to colleges and universities to allow them sufficient preparation time to meet the new, higher green-building standards. The decision complements broader national trends in the environment and education that are emerging from the Obama Administration.
“The Kresge Foundation is very concerned about the long-term impact of global climate change and deeply committed to environmental conservation, which is one of our nine core values,” says Education Program Director William F.L. Moses. “We believe it is important that the nation’s colleges and universities, which have been among the leaders in building green facilities, attain high environmental standards in their building projects.”
Investing in high-performance buildings will enable schools to become more energy-efficient over the long run, Moses says. “In these days of belt-tightening, the adoption of LEED Silver-rated standards will help colleges and universities reduce their energy costs,” he explains. “These schools also play an important role in educating our future leaders, which positions them to convey the importance of resource conservation and environmental sustainability.”
The LEED Green Building Rating System offers tools and performance criteria that are intended to speed the adoption of sustainable green building and development practices. As a third-party certification program, LEED provides architects, engineers, construction managers, lenders, government officials, and grantmakers with a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance facilities.