Whether new or retrofits, green schools are on the increase. Green schools offer a wide range of advantages. Perhaps most importantly, they reduce a school's environmental footprint, while improving health and learning.
Through things like good ventilation and reduced noise, green buildings are able to improve test scores while reducing absenteeism, asthma and allergies. A report titled, "Review and Assessment of the Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools," concluded that a number of green-school attributes are vital to health and learning.
Green schools are not only healthier for people and the planet, they are good for the bottom line. According to a study titled "Green Building Costs and Financial Benefits," by author Gregory Kats, green buildings cost less than 2 percent more than conventional buildings but provide 20 times the financial benefits. The 2003 study compared 33 green buildings across the US to buildings using conventional designs and found reductions of energy and water consumption of about one third.
Schools are making changes from coast to coast. These changes involve a varying array of initiatives and include everything from energy and water conservation to diffusers that spread natural light evenly throughout a classroom.
Green schools are on the crest of a wave that is revolutionizing building design. Green schools are giving us a glimpse into the future of building construction.
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