Building Your Green Team
At its very core, the sustainability movement is about intersections -- a meeting in the middle of best practices, commonsense decisions, and community and global priorities. “True green” is where social, environmental, and economic values intersect. Undertaking a successful green school initiative requires people to meet in the middle, too.
Planning major construction programs often begins with a call to hurry based on unproven assumptions. The outcome often involves huge wasted expenditures, needlessly repetitive rezoning, and the defeat of bond referendums. What goes wrong? Let’s examine how you can plan the right way and with the right people.
Learning From Your Buildings
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. Green schools teach invaluable lessons on topics like conservation, stewardship, and environmental science.
LEED Certify Your School Buildings
Every school district will take a different path to green. Some start with a districtwide commitment to “green” new construction. Others begin by focusing on specific areas for improvement. For most districts, focusing on existing schools yields the greatest impact in terms of buildings improved, dollars saved, and students served.
A Student's View of School Design
Students can raise awareness about the need for renovations or for a new school. Involve students in pre-bond activities such as evaluating existing buildings, developing goals, and analyzing polling and surveying data. At the very least, a diverse group of students should be involved in a design and goalsetting session.
Green Schools in Alaska
Waking up before the sun rises is difficult for anyone. This is especially true in Alaska, where the dark days of winter span 685,000 square miles and four climate zones. Despite these conditions and a number of unique challenges, school personnel make sure their facilities are efficient, safe – and sustainable.