Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Growth of Green Schools in 2016

Schools continue to be at the forefront of the green building movement. A growing number of educational establishments are investing to make their infrastructures more sustainable.  There are examples of green building at every educational level from preschool to colleges and universities. Schools are investing in a number of areas especially efficiency initiatives and renewable energy projects.

Interest in green school buildings is driven by the fact that these buildings reduce costs by being more energy efficient. They also offer students an improved learning environment.

Polls reveal that there is strong public support for green schools. As reported by GBE a 2016 poll from the US Green Building Council indicates that more than 90 percent of Americans would like to see green investments in US public school buildings. Another poll found that 8 out of 10 Americans support schools that create a healthy environment conducive to learning, while also saving energy, resources and money.

The independent survey of 500 US residents was conducted via telephone from Nov. 3-8, 2015 and administered by David Binder Research, found that 92 percent of Americans agree that the quality of public school buildings should be improved, and 65 percent of Americans feel it is very important to improve public school buildings.

“The results from the survey this year show a significant increase in awareness about the importance of conserving energy,” said Excel Dryer’s Vice President of Marketing, William Gagnon. “We are thrilled to be working with the Center for Green Schools to increase the adoption of energy saving solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment and also teach our children about the importance of protecting the environment.”

There are a bevy of examples of schools investing in greening their buildings in 2016. Early this year Ithaca College in upstate New York announced that it was building a 9,215 panel solar park about 40 miles away from the campus. School based solar systems are being installed in some interesting locations. As reported by Cleantechnica, there are now 25 California schools that now have solar arrays in their parking lots.

In March the Ideal Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. announced that they will be doing an extensive LED retrofit.  In February Tidewater Community College announced that it was going to recommission its student services center to Virginia State Energy standards.

In 2016, the Southside Elementary School in Shelbyville, became the 300 Kentucky School to earn an Energy Star Designation. Green building also extends to building materials and a kindergarten in Italy is built entirely out of recycled materials.

Schools that are already green are not resting on their laurels. Many schools undergo regular upgrades. In March Drexel University announced that it was going to update its Energy Master Plan.

Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources." It contains links to over 325 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.

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