Kresge Announces New Higher Green Building Standards for Challenge-grant Applicants in Higher Education
Financially strapped and under-resourced institutions will receive special assistance to enhance their knowledge of green building practices. Kresge has partnered with the nonprofit organization Second Nature to launch a new program called Advancing Green Building in Higher Education. With a three-year, $1.2 million Kresge grant, Second Nature will help Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III and V institutions develop green building projects for their campuses.
Through fellowship awards administered by Second Nature, 40 senior managers will learn about the resources available for LEED-certified facilities as well as their potential for saving money, reducing negative health impacts, and creating models of environmental sustainability. Second Nature is also collaborating with the United Negro College Fund, which received a $60,000 Kresge planning grant to enhance its current Capacity Building Institute to include a program to help minority-serving institutions build green.
Moses says the new challenge-grant requirements for higher education represent a natural “next step” in addressing environmental issues more broadly. In 2003, Kresge announced its original Green Building Initiative, a grantmaking effort that encouraged nonprofit organizations to build environmentally responsible facilities by funding the additional costs associated with constructing or renovating a green building. The initiative, which is being retired at the end of this month, succeeded in raising awareness in the nonprofit sector, in the design and construction professions, and in the physical communities where the projects were located.
Since March 2004, the foundation has made 199 awards of green planning grants to public and private institutions. In the higher-education sector, these grants have assisted 51 schools in 27 states, plus the District of Columbia, and have totaled nearly $3.8 million.
Moses says the new green building requirements for the higher-education sector represent the foundation’s deepening commitment to the advancement of environmental stewardship in the built environment, which accounts for an estimated 40 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions.