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Green building certification programs like LEED, BREEAM, Green Globes and other sustainable building rating systems provide a framework to help optimize the environmental and human health impacts of buildings. Receiving certification demonstrates that a building was designed and built using strategies that improve performance in key areas like energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor air quality, stewardship of resources and more. Some of the top benefits of green building certification include:

Improved Energy Efficiency – Certified green buildings are designed, constructed and operated with energy efficiency top of mind. This includes utilizing more efficient HVAC, lighting and appliances. Studies have found LEED certified buildings use 25-30% less energy compared to conventional buildings. Reducing energy consumption lowers ongoing utility costs for owners and is better for the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants.

Water Savings – Sustainable design prioritizes using water more efficiently both indoors and outdoors. This incorporates high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping, capturing rainwater, and reuse of greywater. On average, green buildings save 20-30% on water use compared to non-green buildings. With water becoming scarcer in many areas, certification helps future-proof buildings for a more water-constrained world.

Enhanced Indoor Air Quality – Improving indoor environmental quality is a core tenet of green building. This is done through measures like low-emitting materials, enhanced ventilation, monitoring systems, green cleaning policies and bringing more access to outdoor views and natural daylight. Occupants benefit from better indoor air quality which can improve health, wellness and productivity. Various studies have linked improved air quality to reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs.

Reduced Carbon Emissions – As green buildings require less energy to operate, this leads to lower carbon emissions from that reduced energy consumption. Life cycle assessments also account for embodied carbon in building materials and construction processes. On average, LEED certified buildings generate 35% less carbon emissions over a 60 year lifespan versus regular buildings. As the effects of climate change intensify, lower-carbon buildings play an important role in mitigating future impacts.

Resource Efficiency – Sustainability also means using resources more efficiently and conserving raw materials. This can include utilizing construction waste management plans, recycling demolition debris, minimizing the footprint of the building, specifying recycled content and regional materials, and adopting lifecycle approaches to products and materials. Cumulatively this lightens the environmental footprint and steward’s natural resources for future generations.

Enhanced Durability & Resilience – Designing for sustainability means optimizing long-term performance. Green buildings are constructed with durable, high quality products and systems well-suited to withstand local weather events and endure for decades into the future. This longevity also aids disaster resilience against hazards like hurricanes, flooding, wildfires which climate change is exacerbating. Adaptability features can help buildings respond to changing needs over their lifespan too.

Improved Occupant Health & Well-Being – The indoor environments of green buildings foster better physical and mental health. Natural daylight, outdoor views and high air quality boost health, mood and cognition. Biophilic design connects people with nature. Low toxicity materials avoid harmful off-gassing. Acoustic performance supports focus and collaboration. All together these attributes can increase comfort, wellness and job satisfaction among occupants.

Financial & Economic Benefits – While green building may cost marginally more up front, certification delivers notable long-term financial returns. Numerous case studies and analysis have found the economic value of reduced utility and maintenance costs over a building’s lifetime often exceed its higher initial investments within 5-10 years. Green buildings also command rental premiums and increased asset values. At a macro level, green building has been found to provide jobs and stimulate local green economies.

Tenant Demand & Marketing Edge – As the population gains more awareness of sustainability issues and their health impacts, there is rising tenant demand for green indoor environments and office policies. Green certified spaces can command competitive advantages in tenant/user retention and attraction amid growing corporate commitments to sustainability goals. Marketing the certification helps owners appeal to climate-conscious clients and tech-savvy Millennial talent.

In summary – green building certification has evolved into a mainstream and impactful way to enhance sustainability performance across new construction as well as existing building renovations. The holistic benefits outlined here help optimize life cycle costs, operations, demand and value for investors and owners, along with delivering public interest co-benefits like reduced environmental impacts and improved community wellness. As we transition to a low-carbon future, the standard set by third-party rated certifications has never been more important in future-proofing the built environment.


Faculty of Engineering:

Software Engineering Capstone: Students work in teams to plan, design and develop a large software project from start to finish over the course of two terms. Past projects have included developing mobile apps, web applications, and software for embedded systems. Teams go through the whole software development lifecycle including requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, deployment and maintenance.

Systems Design Engineering Capstone: In their final year, students complete an intensive two-term capstone design project where they apply their engineering knowledge and skills to a real-world design challenge. Past projects have included designing autonomous vehicles, medical devices, renewable energy systems, robotics projects and more. Students work in multidisciplinary teams to go through the full product development cycle from concept to prototype.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone: Students undertake a substantial individual or group design and build project over two terms under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Examples include designing and building vehicles, bridges, medical devices, aerospace components or testing/demonstrating mechanical systems. Projects culminate in a final expo where students showcase their work.

Electrical Engineering Capstone: In teams, students complete an electrical/computer engineering project from concept to working prototype over two terms. Past projects have involved hardware/embedded systems, communications networks, control systems, biomedical devices, renewable energy systems and mechatronics. Real-world constraints like safety, cost and timelines must be considered.

Faculty of Environment:

Environment & Resource Studies Capstone: Students undertake a major project related to addressing an environmental issue or sustainability challenge. This could involve research, policy analysis, program design or another applied project. Students present their work at a capstone conference at the end of the term. Past projects include developing environmental education programs, analyzing climate change policy, conducting ecological restoration projects and more.

Geography Capstone: In their final year, Geography students complete an individually-designed research project or internship under a faculty advisor’s supervision. Examples are conducting field research, creating mapping projects using GIS, undertaking policy analysis and planning projects related to topics like urbanization, climate change, resource management and more. Results are presented in a major written report and presentation.

Environment & Business Capstone: As a culminating experience, students participate in a sustainable business consulting project partnered with a local organization or business. Projects include conducting feasibility studies, developing business/marketing plans, making recommendations for improved operations/practices related to issues like renewable energy adoption, green building, ecotourism and more. Teams present their findings to the partner organization.

Faculty of Science:

Biology Capstone: Students undertake a research investigation in one of the research labs on campus, analyzing real scientific data and writing a research thesis. Past topics studied include biology of disease, genetics, genomics, evolution, biodiversity, ecology and more. The research experience culminates in a scientific poster presentation.

Chemistry Capstone: In their final year, Chemistry students complete an independent research project in a faculty supervisor’s research lab. Students gain hands-on laboratory experience conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data towards addressing an open-ended research question. The project culminates in a major scientific paper and oral presentation of results.

Computer Science Capstone: Students apply their computing knowledge by working on an major software or hardware project either through an open-ended individual project or team-based project arranged with an outside partner. Examples include developing machine learning applications, designing databases, creating VR/AR systems, and developing novel hardware prototypes. Projects are demonstrated and evaluated at the end of term.

Physics Capstone: Students either complete an independent research project working with a faculty supervisor, or participate in an internship (usually in a private sector lab setting). Past Physics capstone projects have involved advancing fundamental research in fields like nanoscience, materials science, medical physics and more. The experience culminates in a major written report and oral presentation.

As these examples demonstrate, University of Waterloo capstone projects aim to give students authentic experiential learning opportunities to apply their disciplinary knowledge and teamwork skills by taking on a major applied project that mirrors real-world work or research in their field of study. Across all faculties, capstone experiences provide a culminating pedagogical approach for students to demonstrate and be evaluated on their readiness to transition to post-graduate opportunities or professional careers. The iterative process of conceptualizing, planning, executing and presenting capstone work helps bridge the gap between theoretical classroom learning and practical applied problem solving.


The first step is to select the stock or stocks you want to predict prices for. Some good options to start with are large, liquid stocks from major companies that have a long history of daily price data available. Example stocks could include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc. Narrowing down to 1-5 stocks will help keep the initial scope of the project manageable.

Next, you will need to collect historical daily price data for the stocks you selected. This data can be downloaded for free from finance websites like Yahoo Finance which provides closing prices and volumes going back many years for most stocks. Make sure to download data that includes the date, open, high, low, close and volume for each trading day. Having at least a few years of historical data will allow for proper testing and validation of your predictive models.

With the price data collected, you can now start exploring and analyzing the data to gain insights. Create visualizations to examine trends, volatility and relationships over time. Calculate key metrics like simple and exponential moving averages, MACD, RSI and Bollinger Bands to identify signals. Explore correlations between prices and external factors like economic reports, company news and sector performances. Examining the data from different angles will help inform feature selection for your models.

Feature engineering is an important step to transform the raw price data into parameters that can be used to build predictive models. Some common features include lagged price values (e.g. prior day close), moving averages, technical indicators, seasonality patterns and external regressors. You may also want to difference/normalize features and stocks to account for heterogeneity. Carefully selecting relevant, mutually exclusive features will optimize model performance.

Now with your historical data parsed into training features and target prices, it’s time to implement and test predictive models. A good starting approach is linear regression to serve as a simple baseline. More advanced techniques like random forest, gradient boosted trees and recurrent neural networks often work well for time series forecasting problems. Experiment with different model configurations, hyperparameters and ensemble techniques to maximize out-of-sample predictive power.

Evaluate each model using statistical measures like mean absolute error, mean squared error and correlation between predicted and actual prices on a validation set. Optimize models by adjusting parameters, adding/removing features, varying window sizes and adopting techniques like differencing, normalization, lags, etc. Visualize results to qualitatively assess residuals, fit and ability to capture trends/volatility.

Fine-tune top models by performing rolling forecast origin evaluations. For example, use data from 2015-2017 for training and sequentially predict 2018 prices on a daily basis. This simulates real-time forecasting more accurately than one-off origin tests. Monitor forecasting skill dynamically over time to identify model strengths/weaknesses.

Consider incorporating model output as signals/factors into algorithms and portfolio optimizers to test if predictive quality translates into meaningful investment benefits. For example, blend predicted prices to develop trading strategies, calculate portfolio returns with different holding periods or use forecasts to time market entry/exits. Quantitatively evaluating financial outcomes provides a clear, practical evaluation of model usefulness.

Document all steps thoroughly so the process could be replicated using consistent data and configurations. Save model objects and code for future reference, enhancement and to allow for re-training on new incoming data. Automating forecast generation and evaluation leads to a continually evolving system that adapts to changing market dynamics over long periods.

Some additional advanced techniques that can help improve predictive power include feature engineering techniques like decomposition, interaction effects and deep feature synthesis. Modeling techniques such as neural networks, kernel methods, topic modeling and hierarchical approaches also show promise for capturing complex price dynamics. Experimenting with big structural/combinatorial approaches allows squeezing more signal out of time series problems.

Consider open sourcing models, code and analyses to enable independent review, validation of results and fostering collaborative research. The financial forecasting problem involves many inter-related factors and pooling data/insights across different contributors accelerates collective progress towards building more sophisticated and useful solutions over time. Distribution of prediction data also allows downstream applications of forecasts to uncover new use cases.

A stock price prediction project requires systematically analyzing historical data from multiple perspectives to select optimal inputs for predictive models, carefully implementing and evaluating different techniques, rigorously optimizing model performance, blending results for practical applications and continually enhancing methods as new market behaviors emerge over extended periods. Adopting a scientific process that emphasizes experimentation, replication and sharing enables significant, impactful advances in financial market forecasting.


Maribelajar was founded in 2011 with the goal of positively transforming education for underprivileged students across Indonesia. Through its innovative learning programs and teacher training initiatives, Maribelajar has helped improve learning outcomes for hundreds of thousands of students in remote, rural communities that previously lacked access to quality education resources.

The immediate impact of Maribelajar’s work is evident from test score results. In a 2015 study, Maribelajar partner schools in underserved regions saw math and reading comprehension test scores rise by over 25% on average within the first 12 months of adopting Maribelajar’s curriculum and teacher support model. Student engagement and attendance also increased substantially. Teachers reported that students were more motivated to learn and regularly participated in classroom activities, a stark contrast from before when many struggled in unstimulating learning environments with few educational materials or support.

Perhaps the most striking impact has been on access to education itself. Maribelajar works in partnership with government schools in remote villages that previously had no access to digital learning tools or supplementary teaching materials due to lack of infrastructure and resources. By providing WiFi connectivity, projectors, laptops and tablets pre-loaded with its adaptive learning content, Maribelajar has enabled education to reach students who otherwise may have received little or no schooling at all due to geographical isolation. This directly addresses a key developmental challenge in underprivileged communities across Indonesia where remoteness is a primary barrier to accessing education.

Students now have learning resources literally at their fingertips through Maribelajar’s mobile-friendly digital library, allowing education to continue even when teachers are absent. Regular formative assessments built into the content also help identify learning gaps early and provide individualized practice material targeted to each student’s needs. These innovations have transformed the educational experience for students in marginalized rural communities. Teachers too have gained from Maribelajar’s continuous professional development programs, workshops and mentoring app which equip them with new skills to engage modern learners more effectively.

A less visible but equally crucial impact has been on educational equality and inclusion. Maribelajar’s diverse library of learning content helps foster appreciation for Indonesia’s cultural diversity by featuring folk stories, traditions and role models from various ethnic groups across the archipelago. This creates a sense of representation and empowerment for students from minority communities who previously received little acknowledgement in mainstream curriculum. The library also caters to students with special needs by including audio, visual and interactive lessons tailored for learners with disabilities – an initiative that promotes equal participation for all children in education, regardless of ability.

Communities have welcomed Maribelajar’s work, recognizing it as a driver for both social and economic development. Studies show education strongly correlates with reduced poverty, improved public health and greater civic participation over the long run. Maribelajar is helping lift underprivileged regions out of inter-generational cycles of disadvantage by cultivating critical thinking, problem-solving and digital skills among young people – equipping them to secure better livelihoods as productive citizens. Many former students have credited Maribelajar for expanding their horizons and empowering them to pursue higher education or vocational training that might have otherwise remained out of reach.

From an economic standpoint, Maribelajar has created over 500 jobs for local communities as teacher trainers, content developers, project coordinators and infrastructure technicians. These roles provide stable incomes and help circulate resources within cash-strapped rural localities. By establishing career pathways in education, Maribelajar is also inspiring a new generation of teachers dedicated to accelerating development in their hometowns through schools. Their efforts not only improve individual outcomes but strengthen entire villages from the inside, making communities more self-reliant overall.

In just over a decade, Maribelajar has transformed the educational accessibility and learning experiences of hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged students across Indonesia. Its innovative, tech-driven and socially-inclusive approach addresses entrenched developmental challenges through the powerful vehicle of education. By empowering communities with the skills, knowledge and opportunities that learning provides, Maribelajar is shifting trajectories and securing brighter futures – impact that will undoubtedly spread and compound and benefit Indonesia for generations to come. Its work demonstrates education’s ability to uplift societies from within, demonstrating true impact in underprivileged areas.


Premium subscriptions: One of the most common and reliable revenue models for meditation apps is offering premium subscriptions for unlocking additional content and features. The app could offer a basic free version with limited functionality and guides, while offering premium subscriptions starting at $5-10/month that unlock an extensive on-demand audio/video library of guided meditations and lessons on various mindfulness techniques. Premium subscriptions could also remove ads and unlock additional tracking features. Different subscription tiers offering more content at increased price points like $10, $15, $20 per month tiers could also be tested. Premium subscriptions are highly scalable and provide reliable recurring monthly revenue.

In-app purchases: In addition to subscriptions, the app could offer various in-app purchase options to unlock specific features, tracks, packs, or one-time downloads. For example, users could purchase individual mediation/yoga tracks for $1-2 each, packs of 5-10 tracks for $5-10, extended sessions, etc. Advanced tracking features, new relaxation techniques, specialist certificates etc. could also be offered as one-time IAPs. Having optional IAPs allows monetizing without subscriptions for users not interested in recurring payments. IAP revenue also scales directly with user growth and engagement with the app.

Advertising: Showing well-targeted, unobtrusive ads in the free version of the app can be another important revenue stream. Non-intrusive banner ads could be shown between sessions or on the home screen. Video ads could also be worked into longer guided meditations to not disrupt the experience. Partnering with wellness and related brands like nutrition, fitness, health insurance etc. ensures ads are relevant and less annoying for users. In-feed and interstitial ads are best avoided to not disrupt the meditative state. With millions of daily/monthly users, even low eCPMs of $0.20-0.50 per thousand impressions can add up to significant advertiser revenues over time as the user base grows.

Brand partnerships: As the app grows a larger following and audience, commercial partnership opportunities with well known brands in the health, wellness and mindfulness space can open up. For example, exclusive branded premium content or challenges (like a 21 day mindfulness program sponsored by a health brand), sponsored contests and giveaways, co-marketing partnerships etc. Extension into physical products is also possible – like exclusive meditative candles, journals, diffusers etc. sold through the app and at retail in partnership with lifestyle brands. Partners can sponsor the development of advanced courses or therapist profiles in exchange for co-branding and promotions within the app. Exclusive offers and deals for the app’s large community provide additional monetization streams.

Freemium coaching/courses: For users seeking more structured and personalized guidance, advanced freemium coaching/course options can be introduced. Qualified experts and coaches introduce multi-week programs addressing specific issues like stress, focus, relationships etc. A limited 10-15% of program material is available for free along with community support forums, with the full course unlocked through a subscription. Coaches could get a commission on each signup. Courses, workshops and events involving the coaches could also be monetized. Digital therapy/coaching also opens up B2B opportunities working with healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Offline events and merchandise: The large digital community of users also provides the opportunity to organize in-person mindfulness retreats, workshops and lectures by advanced coaches and specialists. These experiential events focused on practical skill building and community bonding can be priced at $100-300 each. Related merchandise like apparel, journals, accessories allows leveraging the mindfulness brand beyond the digital world. Experts authoring books and courses co-marketed through the platform is another related monetization path. Offline merchandise and events diversify revenues while further enriching the overall mindfulness ecosystem built through the app.

Corporate offerings: There is a growing need among companies to address employee wellness, focus and stress through mindfulness training. The app platform can curate and customize corporate packages with tracker analytics, advanced coaching profiles and large-scale guided programs targeting specific role types. Integrations with HR and benefits platforms unlock an important B2B revenue stream through large corporate contracts. Colleges and educational institutions also make for interesting strategic clients interested in holistic learning and development of students through similar mindfulness initiatives.

Freemium access for charities and non-profits working in mental health, conflict zones etc. further builds goodwill while potentially qualifying for subsidies and grants long term. Additional revenue models like crowdfunding select community programs can also be tested based on viability. The above represent some of the major monetization opportunities that exist across both virtual and physical domains to sustainably grow an impactful mindfulness platform serving millions worldwide at scale over the long run. Successful execution relies on balanced growth, continuously optimizing UX based on analytics and strong community management fostering trust.