Workshops: Going beyond LEED

The green building marketplace is chock-full of technical and LEED-related workshops. We’re different. We focus on the skills you need to get the most out of those tools! Once staff understands how to manage LEED, how can your company internalize the resources and methodologies to deliver it efficiently and consistently? How can your company move from execution of individual tactics to a culture of sustainability, with strong leadership and measurable success across your portfolio of projects? Our educational programs are transformative and help your company institutionalize sustainability to realize better performance and profitability!

Below is a list of popular workshop topics. Our courses can be delivered in different formats, including in-house workshops, public seminars and virtually through webinars.  CEUs are available for all courses. One hour lunch time sessions are also possible, providing overviews of the topics with key points. Custom workshops can address your company’s specific needs. Please contact us to explore what works best for you!

Also check out these upcoming SPI events, featured on our Community page:

Project Delivery Mapping Workshop

How does your firm achieve excellence? Do you have a methodology to achieve consistent, high quality performance? Is green design or LEED baked into your process? Is integrative design a myth or a reality for your teams? Have you signed the AIA 2030 Commitment and hit a wall – or just want to ensure success? This workshop helps you deconstruct your current project delivery process to identify barriers and formulate strategies to raise the bar and be on a path of continuous improvement. While not hampering creativity, it is rare that everyone in a firm has a shared understanding of how to manage effective collaboration and truly optimize building systems to achieve the performance goals set out in the 2030 Commitment.

This is a fun, highly interactive way to have valuable dialogue within the firm while charting a course for the future that improves client services, business development and internal efficiencies. The full day version of this workshop brings additional focus to change management strategies, helping management and leadership understand what strategies to employ (and how) to ensure buy-in and adherence to new norms. This is offered in-house and can be hosted as a public workshop by AIA or USGBC chapters.

Instructions and examples

Green Firm Boot Camp

Being a truly green firm is more than just being able to deliver LEED projects. This workshop helps participants align business goals of profitability, quality control, transfer of knowledge and other elements with green project delivery. The workshop encapsulates the key aspects of company transformation, providing attendees with the framework and foundation necessary for them to move a green initiative ahead in their company. Participants go through a microcosm of a sustainability strategic process to understand what it takes to be a truly green firm, do a self-assessment of your firm’s current capabilities, set and prioritize measurable goals, and brainstorm effective strategies that can be taken back and implemented right away. The outcome of the workshop is the skeleton of an actual plan that can be further developed by the company.

This course can be done in a one-day format, or broken down into two half-day modules or three 3 hour sessions.  It can be done in-house or hosted as a public workshop with open registration. We recommend that companies send more than one person to participate to get maximum benefit from the workshop.

Negotiating a Green Mindset

Do you ever encounter resistance to your ideas? Do you feel frustrated or anxious about getting others to see your point of view? Can’t understand why people aren’t persuaded by the data you show them? This workshop helps participants overcome the objections and resistance they often face when trying to champion sustainability – whether in design and construction work on projects, or in getting buy-in to make their firm ‘more green’. This resistance can be from bosses, colleagues, consultants, owners, permitting authorities, or any number of parties. The workshop is highly interactive and combines presentation, discussion, and exercises. It is informative, experiential, and fun. Participants leave with skills and techniques to communicate more effectively, identify and overcome barriers and conflicts and champion sustainable design through an interest-based approach. This isn’t just a skill for work – it’s a life skill!

This is offered as a half or full day workshop.

It can be done in-house or hosted as a public workshop with open registration.

Leadership for Sustainability/Leading from the Middle

Strong leadership is the foundation for any successful initiative. Leaders exist at all levels of an organization. In the context of sustainability they tend to be “leading from the middle”. This workshop helps participants learn to identify and work with their own leadership style, define and articulate a vision that other people will want to follow and ultimately, get the buy-in from their management that they need to move an initiative forward. Being an effective leader means understanding how to lead different people according to their needs, how to challenge process without turning people off and how to build effective guiding coalitions. This workshop is based on a blend of traditional business leadership models, from behavioral and situational leadership as well as the perspective of engaging emotional intelligence.

This is a half-day workshop.

Change Management for Sustainability / Becoming an Effective Change Agent for Sustainability

Becoming a green firm does not happen by accident. It doesn’t happen just because you achieve LEED certification. Truly institutionalizing sustainability in a company’s culture, management and project delivery requires a very intentional and strategic process of engaging all stakeholders across your organization. This workshop addresses both the skills and tools needed for individuals to be effective change agents as well as the higher-level organizational strategic approach to implementing change management strategies that result in high levels of adoption and implementation of sustainability initiatives. This workshop helps you understand how to overcome barriers to change, create a sense of urgency that is critical to engaging others and build coalitions of support. At the organizational level, intentional change management programs include communications and marketing, accountability and incentives as well as metrics to track to evaluate ongoing success.

This is a half-day workshop.

Team Building

Every project requires a team to cross the finish line. Most project teams are not really “teams”. They consist of groups of people brought together under challenging circumstances with budgets and schedules that may cause anxiety and stress, even in the best circumstances. Trust is an issue that directly impacts outcomes, especially decision-making for critical path performance, and ultimately – cost. This fun 4 hour exercise doing a mock “project” gives participants an opportunity for applied learning – exploring the dynamics of positive team interactions. Facilitators provide direction, observe dynamics and give real time feedback about how to improve team collaboration skills.

This can be done as an in-house half-day workshop or hosted as a public seminar with open registration.

IDP: Managing an Integrative Design Process

Delivering green design and LEED projects presents a series of challenges to design professionals and owners. Often, professionals focus on the techniques, technologies and “credits” as the framework to drive green design and think that will lead to success. Too few teams actually follow a collaborative model using integrative decision-making for critical path decisions that affect performance and cost. This workshop addresses both the dynamics and process methodologies for managing an integrative design process as well as the high-level organizational protocols for making IDP a foundation for project management across the board. This  very practical seminar, with interactive exercises, engages participants in actively re-designing their design process. Now that LEED has recognized the importance of IDP through a new credit, its time to make sure this is a strong capability within your organization! A model presented as the foundation and roadmap for IDP is based on the ANSI standard for whole systems integrative design.

(note: IDP is distinct from the AIA’s IPD, Integrated Project Delivery, which is a legal contractual structure)

This can be delivered as a half-day or full day workshop. Half day doesn’t get into as much detail.

Building Energy Master Series: Institutionalizing Sustainability to Boost Profits and Performance

Dates TBA
Study and work directly with Barbra Batshalom for ten weeks. This hands-on on-line workshop provides tools and builds skills to implement and manage world-class sustainability programs. Participants will have access to the SPI Roadmap and 10+ years of proven methodologies for institutionalizing sustainability within a firm. Learn how to conduct a gap analysis, set goals, establish an effective change management program and more. At the end of the 10 weeks series you’ll walk away with a strategic plan and compelling business case to implement new and improved initiatives within your company.