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Green Schools Top Community Agendas

Between climate change, skyrocketing energy prices, and growing concerns about water, building green schools and operating and maintaining them using green best practices may well become a top priority in every community across the country


One school a day. That’s the rate schools are registering for the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification program for green schools, signaling their intent to build and operate schools that are more energy and water efficient. Green schools will save taxpayers money and also significantly improve indoor air quality, and that results in healthier kids.

“When you consider the fact that 50 million young people spend eight hours a school day in a school building, we should do everything we can to make that environment work for them, not against them. Parents, teachers and school board officials understand better than anyone the link between child health and learning; and the fact is that children in green schools have fewer sick days and better test scores,” said Michelle Moore, USGBC senior vice president.

Moore noted there are about 100,000 public and private schools in the U.S., and that fully one-third of their facility costs are in heating/cooling buildings, providing water, electricity, and other energy/utility functions. Some communities have made the commitment.

“Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia have the most LEED certified schools to date, and many local school districts and state departments of education are beginning to develop and implement policies that require schools to be built green,” Moore explained.

Ohio is leading the way. Hundreds of new and renovated schools are set to meet higher energy efficiency and environmental standards through the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s adoption of the LEED for Schools Rating System as part of its school design standards. When the commission did the math, it determined it could save $1,415,529,914 in taxpayer money over the next 40 years by reducing the energy consumption of school buildings.

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June 16, 2019, 10:38 pm PDT

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