Marianella Q. Franklin, construction special project coordinator in the Department of Facilities Planning and Construction at The University of Texas-Pan American, has recently become one of five LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) accredited professionals in the Rio Grande Valley.
Accredited LEED professionals have passed examinations that demonstrate their understanding of "green" environmentally-friendly building practices and concepts and have met the standards established by members of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
Developed by the USGBC, the LEED Green Building Rating System provides a list of standards for environmentally sustainable construction addressing six major areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process. Besides defining a common standard measurement for "green building," LEED was created to promote green building practices and their benefits to the consumer as well as to spur green competition and recognize environmental leadership in the building industry.
"The most exciting part of being a LEED accredited professional is that you are not only educated in the issues that involve construction but the global environmental issues. The initiative right now introduced by Dr. Blandina Cárdenas to become sustainable here on our campus is one that is growing more and more every day. I am passionate about this initiative and feel this accreditation will help us to address the increased interest in sustainability from our students, faculty members, and others and to reach our goal of coming up with a sustainability plan for the UTPA campus," Franklin said.