U.S. Green Building Council launches “Green Schools Advocates” program

Dozens of architects, PTA presidents, school board members, school superintendents, and others from across the country are ready to begin a grassroots effort to further the vision of green schools for every child within a generation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff October 11, 2007

Dozens of architects, PTA presidents, school board members, school superintendents, and others from across the country are ready to begin a grassroots effort to further the vision of green schools for every child within a generation.
Some 64 “Green School Advocates” from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) chapters nationwide were in Washington, D.C., during the last week of September to receive training to go back to their communities and organize green school committees. Local chapter “Green Schools Advocacy Committees” will work with decision-makers, parents, teachers, and others who are passionate about giving children the healthiest, safest places to learn and grow—all while saving school districts money, contributing toward mitigating climate change, and improving our environment.
“The local USGBC chapters are a critical component in the council’s vision of green schools for every child within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, CEO, and founding chair.
A 2006 study sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the American Institute of Architects, the American Lung Assn., the Federation of American Scientists, and USGBC found that building green would save an average school $100,000 each year in energy costs along—enough to hire two new additional full-time teacher, purchase 5,000 new textbooks, or buy 500 new computers.
In addition to superior IAQ, said USGBC officials, green schools on average use 33% less energy and 32% less water than conventional schools, which would bring the United States closer to reducing reliance on imported energy.
According to USGBC, green schools’ better lighting, temperature control, ventilation, and IAQ contribute to reduced asthma, colds, flu, and absenteeism, helping improve learning, test scores, and lifetime student earnings. Greening all school construction would also create more than 2,000 new jobs each year from increased use of energy-efficient technologies. And green schools improve teacher retention.
For more information about the USGBC “Green School Advocates” program, visit www.usgbc.org .