Green & Healthy Schools
What is a green school?
A green school is a building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning. Green schools use less energy and water, fewer resources, and are healthier and safer places for students and teachers while also decreasing operating costs through reduced utility bills.
What is the impact schools have on our community and on the environment?
20 percent of America goes to school every day – that’s 55 million students and more than 5 million faculty and staff. Millions of these students and teachers attend schools that are considered substandard or dangerous to occupant health.
What is LEED for Schools?
LEED® for Schools is a national, voluntary green building certification program that promotes the design and construction of green schools and provides immediate and measurable results. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED® for Schools is the recognized certification program that green schools across the country are using to build schools that are healthy, comfortable, cost-effective and good for the environment. LEED certification provides third party verification to parents, teachers, school boards and the community as a whole that a school building is certified green and is operating exactly the way it was intended to.
What are the benefits of LEED, particularly for schools?
- LEED certification is a demonstration that a building project meets a nationally recognized program for sustainability, energy efficiency and quality.
- LEED certification is a third-party validation of a building’s performance. This third party verification is a requirement for all LEED projects to receive certification, to ensure that all projects are built as designed, and operate as intended.
- Students – By addressing issues critical to student health, such as indoor air quality, daylighting, and thermal comfort, LEED® for Schools contributes to the improved health of students. A Carnegie-Mellon study found that improved indoor air quality results in a 13.5 – 87% reduction in symptoms like asthma attacks, cold, and flu.
- Teachers and Staff – Green schools report decreased absenteeism and improved teacher and staff retention.
- Parents – LEED is like a “nutrition label” for green, high performing schools. Parents can feel confident that their children are spending their days in schools that are healthy, safe and optimized for learning.
- School Decision Makers and Taxpayers – Third party verification ensures that schools are operating at their highest level of performance, saving energy and water, and reducing operational budgets.
- School administrators – Make cost-effective decisions for your school that benefit students, teachers, the community, and the environment. A school’s commitment to LEED signifies that it is a part of a community that makes environmental responsibility a priority.