In the LEED Lab™ course created by USGBC's Center for Green Schools, students learn the principles of LEED® and assess the performance of existing facilities on campus. They choose one building where they facilitate the complete process of LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M), with the goal of certifying the facility. By participating in the course, students gain valuable experience and skills and are prepared to succeed in the workforce post-graduation.
At Pontifica Católica del Peru (PUCP), Professor Héctor Miranda Plaza uses the LEED Lab course to help students expand their green building knowledge and expertise. In September of 2015, PUCP launched the course and became the first university in Latin America to host a LEED Lab. Here’s what Plaza's first-semester students are saying about their experience:
- “The experience and knowledge gained in the LEED Lab course has been invaluable. Personally, the course has helped me to develop new views and a better view professionally. In addition, I have a different view of facility management and have learned about new disciplines and everything that goes into developing sustainable buildings. It was gratifying to have been a part of this experience and pass the LEED Green Associate exam. This is a first step toward obtaining a LEED AP in the coming months and to continue contributing to the growth and spread of sustainable buildings in our country. I’d like to thank PUCP and Professor Héctor Miranda for this enriching experience.” —Mario Alexander Horna Espino, LEED GA
- “First of all, I want to thank the PUCP, administration and teachers who participated in this great initiative that shows us, the students, to delve into a world full of opportunities, which I am sure will benefit us and carry a high name for our university. The course was very enriching, because we could learn more about how to manage the sustainability of our planet through construction and put into practice what we learned through the certification of the new building of the Arts. We are committed to continuing this line of LEED certification at the university and increasing our knowledge about it.” —Edson Antonio Cajaleon, LEED GA
- “For me, to have led the pilot course of LEED Lab has been a very good decision and experience, both personally and professionally. On the professional side, I was able to learn from engineer Héctor Miranda through a dynamic class, reading documents and visiting the pavilion of the Faculty of Art at PUCP, the building chosen to submit for LEED certification. All of this has helped me to the great satisfaction of obtaining a LEED GA. I know that this is my first step in the professional world and I have many things yet to learn. And I know that building a sustainable world will always be related to my career and any specialty I choose, and this course has made us better professionals prepared to transform our environment in a sustainable way.” —Jorge Luis Espino Guevara, LEED GA
- “The LEED Lab course is an excellent opportunity for those who wish to develop or learn more about the fields of design and sustainable construction. We have seen what goes through a project at various stages to reach LEED certification. While the whole process takes more than a university course, we could begin the process, recognizing areas, classifying and developing the prerequisites. I think this project will help to develop a sustainable campus and simultaneously engage students to collaborate in this mission. Finally, the course helped me to prepare for and obtain the LEED GA credential, giving me greater opportunities both occupationally and academically.” —Rafael Quispe, LEED GA
- “The experience of LEED Lab and the work done to lay the foundations for the certification of an existing building was an extremely dynamic experience. In LEED Lab, it is possible, in a short time frame, to absorb the whole philosophy and sustainable attitude towards the certification process and to all future decisions as a professional. LEED certification is an extremely useful and necessary tool in today’s world and represents the trends of sustainable construction. After completing the course, becoming a LEED Green Associate represents my first step into the world of sustainable construction. I am now looking to become a LEED AP BD+C to apply to architectural design.” —Alexis Salinas Mark, LEED GA
- “During the course, you become aware that certifying a building as sustainable is more than green construction and good recycling. Certifying a building means creating a healthier place, ensuring lower emissions and saving costs on the operation of a building. The knowledge acquired at the university was made through periodic visits to the building of art to see what requirements had already been met and new ways that we could improve the facilities to achieve sustainable development in the building. As a LEED GA, I feel my commitment to sustainability has grown because I now have more knowledge on the subject. I think everyone of us who took the course will seek to include these aspects in our work.” —Kathia, Nátaly Caceres Huiscayna, LEED GA