For people interested in building homes and other structures using environmentally conscious materials and methods, George Brown College offers continuing education courses that teach people how to keep their construction projects earth-friendly.
David Rezmovitz is an instructor and environmental educator at George Brown College who teaches how to use environmentally sound techniques and materials to build spaces that are not just more efficient and sustainable but also better places to live. He says green construction methods are an increasingly important part of the industry.
“People really are interested in the green industry and green education is a big component of it. Contractors are being asked to use green materials and techniques in their construction projects and a good understanding is essential,” Rezmovitz said.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building rating system that sets a benchmark for the design, construction and use of green buildings and a large number of private and government organizations across North America have adopted LEED certification as part of their operations. Currently there are about 11,000 LEED-certified professionals across Canada and the number is rising steadily.
George Brown introduced the first LEED course last year with a focus on methods and materials for new construction to great interest and that course – Building Green with LEED: Core Concepts and Strategies will return in April again and enrolments are still open. The college also has several planned courses on green roofs and sustainable development in the pipeline as well.
Things taught include placing individual environmental controls in offices to reduce heating and cooling needs and also increase worker comfort and productivity, ways of collecting and using rainwater, how to make the most of efficient water flow and low-flow toilets and how special coatings on windows can lower energy costs drastically.
For responsible decorators, environmental consultant Audrey Freidin heads up a course in green methods for interior decorators at George Brown College.
Freidin teaches things like the use of low toxin paints, cleanable surfaces and the use of Fair Trade materials and products within a design.
“Green design is the new normal and corporate social responsibility is something I want students to be aware of. I don’t think you can be a responsible decorator or designer without considering the health of the earth and its inhabitants,” Freidin said.
While the course didn’t receive enough admissions to go ahead this upcoming session, George Brown so far plans to offer it again in the future.
For more information, visit coned.georgebrown.ca.