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King Library LEED certification

This research guide describes the green features of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, as defined by the LEED certification for the Operations & Maintenance for existing buildings, and focuses on the interconnections of buildings, community and self.

The Assignment

Assignment Overview

  1. Investigation

Libraries have the power to bring people together, and are ever more obvious in their ability to practice social justice. “Green” or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) libraries like King Library at SJSU have focused on energy conservation with sustainably-designed interior and exterior features. Effectively, the library structure has become less about storage designed for books, and more about interior spaces designed for users. By 2021 the US Green Building Council added a new pilot credit to the LEED rating system, “Social Equity in the Community,” which suggests a deeper commitment to social responsibility. 

Students will interpret how users experience social equity at King Library as defined by LEED by engaging in self-guided tours, group discussion and one activity. This initial investigation of resources at King Library (through the lens of social equity) will serve as a foundation for the development of student group work. 

  1. Assignment: Building on Observations,  Research, and Knowledge

Groups will gather onsite observations (checklist) based on how users experience social equity at King Library as defined by one of five LEED credit features (energy & atmosphere, water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, sustainable sites & location and transportation). How does the designed amenity foster inclusivity? How can it be improved? Who is being served, etc.? How can we draw more attention to this form of social justice at the institutional level? Through onsite observations, interviews, lectures, group discussions, readings and independent research students will accumulate data to analyze. 

  1. Application of Research and Observations into podcast, written analysis, & visuals

The Social Justice Podcast will be accomplished in groups as a way to investigate the concept of social equity/social justice in a designed space as experienced by the end user. Each group will focus their observations of social equity at King Library and compare SJSU buildings to one LEED credit. Groups must receive approval before beginning their podcast. 

When the group is ready to record the podcast, they must introduce themselves followed by the title or concept that will be discussed. The rest of the time is dedicated to introducing the concept and explaining it with a high level of specificity. Remember: your audience will need to visualize what you describe. You may connect your story to other general concepts about social equity/justice, LEED, and green building design, to your research, class readings and lecture. Each student in the group must spend equal time speaking during the podcast. I encourage you to have fun, be creative and develop a way to be informative. You may interview people on campus in person, by phone/Zoom and/or find other types of media content to incorporate into your podcast. You will write a script for your podcast that will be submitted along with your podcast. 

The podcast assignment will be presented in class with selected visuals to share after the podcast is played. Question and answer period will follow. The podcast should last 5-8 minutes. The podcast assignment is worth 20% of your grade and the culminating assignment for ARTH 72.  

There are many types of free software to create podcasts like GarageBand, Adobe Audition, Audacity, Skype, Zoom, and Discord.