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Green Building Class Starts Tuesday

SBCC Course Aims to Help Enrollees Get Construction Work


Santa Barbara City College will soon be offering a new class on implementing green practices in home development.

This course was created by the Construction Academy, which offers 18 courses, now including this eight-week class beginning January 27.

Taught by SBCC’s Dr. Patrick Foster - a construction instructor who has previously worked in green contracting - the class will meet weeknights with additional field trips on Saturdays. Though the costs involved in green construction and its less-ecofriendly counterpart are initially similar, Foster said the long-term energy and money saved with the former is unbelievable: it’s a win-win situation.

The Construction Academy offers education on various construction jobs, such as carpentry, concrete work, engineering, and site management. Many who enroll are already working, Foster explained, and can attend the drop-in classes for specific skills. No experience is necessary for any of the classes, however. Foster said he hopes the Construction Academy will develop into a sequence of classes and electives that would give people working in this industry a better chance at getting work.

The course will be based on From the Ground Up - a film that was created by Brooks Institute professor Tracy Trotter and her students and that will be featured this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film documents the building of a home by Joe Campanelli of Campanelli Construction and, in doing so, discusses such green construction issues as water, materials, and energy use. Campanelli Construction is also one of the founders of the Santa Barbara Contractors Association’s Built Green Santa Barbara, a nonprofit that promotes efficient development, planning, and production. The Santa Barbara Contractors Association has also created a construction guide which will also be used on the course. Foster described the document as a comprehensive guide to starting the process of creating a home.

The class was made possible by a two-year sustainable grant. Those interested can register for it at the SBCC Web site. “This will hopefully orient our program in a more green way,” Foster said of the value of the class in the context of SBCC’s construction program as a whole.

The class begins on January 27.

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