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New student organization focuses on sustainable building

A new student organization is available for NDSU students interested in sustainable design and living. The U.S. Green Building Council at NDSU is a way for students from all majors to learn about green building techniques and related topics through service initiatives. They also can prepare for professional registration in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process.

The student group, which officially formed in October 2011, already has about 40 members representing students majoring in biology, natural resources management, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, engineering and construction management.

The organization meets monthly and has planned several activities, including a group tour of Microsoft’s “green” buildings, LEED study groups, an opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity and educational programs about the importance of energy and water conservation through the Campus Conservation Nationals program.

“The USGBC is fast becoming a valuable asset for our students as public awareness of the importance of building ‘green’ increases. In this respect, this organization will effectively bridge between the academic and professional worlds,” said David Crutchfield, assistant professor of architecture and the group’s faculty adviser. “It is fascinating for me to see just how passionate and enthusiastic the students are about this initiative, and how fast connections are being made with other student groups. The students really want this to happen. The demand is definitely there.”

He said the Fargo-Moorhead professional chapter of The U.S. Green Building Council is very supportive and has been active in assisting the new organization. “NDSU alumni and other emerging professionals who have passed the LEED exam are attending some of the meetings and have invited student chapter members to attend theirs. It is becoming a terrific networking opportunity for all involved,” he said.

Crutchfield also said the new chapter is the direct result of student interest and initiative. “In the past, students have asked me individually about preparing for LEED certification, but this fall Emma Wey (a fourth-year architecture student) approached me with the idea of joining other universities in forming a student chapter at NDSU,” he said.

Wey got involved with a professional chapter the previous year and felt more NDSU students could benefit. She mentioned the idea of a student chapter to Crutchfield and it grew from there.

“I hope the group will be able to educate students and the community about the importance of sustainable buildings, ultimately making a difference in the design, construction and operation of future development,” Wey said. “The organization is already providing students with the ability to take their ideas and make them a reality, and have fun while doing it.”

For more information on the U.S. Green Building Council at NDSU, contact Crutchfield at or 1-7316, Wey at or visit the group’s Facebook page at


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North Dakota State University
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