Learning From Your Buildings

By Rachel Gutter

Imagine employing a teacher who introduces new curriculum concepts, engages students through experiential learning, and saves your district thousands of dollars each quarter. Say hello to your new hire: the school building.

When used to their full potential, facilities enhance the learning experience rather than simply contain it. Green schools teach invaluable lessons on topics like conservation, stewardship, and environmental science. Students learn about renewable energy in their solar gardens, study conservation by monitoring rainwater levels in their cisterns, and study natural resources by examining the geo-thermal compressors in the school mechanical room.

But photovoltaic panels, green roofs, and wind turbines aren’t necessary to develop environmentally literate students. Conventionally designed schools have important environmental lessons to teach, too. Helping your students and staff contribute to the high-performance operation of school facilities can save your district thousands, even millions, of operational dollars while teaching them about the interconnectedness of the built environment and natural systems. 

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