Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Future of Green School Buildings

The greening of schools is leading the green building trend. With large numbers of public schools deteriorating, boards across the US are taking a serious look at new green schools and retrofits that save energy as well as improve learning.

In the US, Federal incentives are already helping boards to green their schools. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s fiscal stabilization fund, $48.6 billion was awarded to the US Department of Education. The construction, renovation and repair of green school buildings qualify for these government funds.

In the future all levels of government as well as new building codes will contribute to even greener schools. The next generation of green schools can be expected to do an even better job of controlling temperature, air, light and noise.

Each classroom will have independent climate controls and the ability to independently deliver fresh-air. Part of delivering fresh air, involves the ability to open high and low windows that can quickly refresh a room without drafts. Green schools will also manage solar overheating with awnings and shades that do not eliminate light or obscure the view.

The next generation of green schools will also do a better job of managing traffic noise, room reverberation, and noise transmission between rooms.

New green schools will be designed with materials that are easy to clean. This is important because the cleanliness of surfaces directly contributes to indoor air quality. Materials used in desk and contact surfaces must be easily disinfected to help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.

As early adopters of new innovations green schools will continue to improve their environmental, health and performance benefits.

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