On an otherwise reasonable evening, more than 1,000 people packed an auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, for the culmination of the 2012 Unreasonable Institute. They came to see 23 ventures present their solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Shane Gring, Founder of BOULD, shares how  his venture is passionate about locating the gap between what schools are teaching and what employers/clients actually want – and then leveraging that opportunity to add value to their communities. Currently BOULD partners with affordable housing builders, like Habitat for Humanity, to transform housing projects into hands-on, interactive learning laboratories to help transition architecture and construction professionals into the green building industry. Our tuition-based, community-focused training program equips professionals with the experience and skills they need to launch green careers, while simultaneously funding and building efficient long-lasting homes for low-income families.

What is the urgent social or environmental need you’re addressing?

“Arg!” shouted a passionate volunteer. “Those who most need the benefits of green construction are those who can least afford it! Over 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing, is there anyway to leverage the green building industry for their benefit?”

“This is impossible, but so important to my career!” groaned a young architect, representing the 99.5% of the industry unqualified to build green. “There are no entry-level opportunities to qualify for a green accreditation and join the front lines of designing buildings to encourage energy independence, lessen environmental degradation, and stem climate change.”

“I want to build ‘green’, but we just don’t have the support or resources,” cried a construction manager of a local affordable housing builder, Habitat for Humanity.

What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.

BOULD empowers the next generation of sustainability focused professionals with hands-on green building experiences, while simultaneously providing entrepreneurial solutions for AHBs to finance “green” homes for low–income families

First, we train local AHBs to transform housing projects into structured, green building classrooms for career developing professionals and students. Upon program completion, participants are qualified for LEED Accreditation, the world’s preeminent green credential. Then, in return for the opportunity, professionals pay a tuition fee that is shared between BOULD and the AHB, making green affordable and accessible for ALL.

And most importantly, these “green” affordable homes save low-income partner families 40% on utility bills and yield 66% less CO2 emissions, vs that of traditional construction.



Unreasonable Institute

Author Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute arms entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems with the mentorship, capital, and networks they need to do so.

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