U.S. Green Building Council Launches Green Schools Web Site

U.S. Green Building Council Launches Green Schools Web Site


Resource for Parents, Teachers and Other Community Members to Learn More and Take Action


WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2007) – A new Web site launched by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on Wednesday gives students, parents, teachers, school administrators, elected officials and community members a new resource in the effort to ensure a future of green schools for every child within a generation.


The new site, Build Green Schools (www.buildgreenschools.org), will be a vital tool for the grassroots green schools movement, helping the site’s visitors to promote healthy, nurturing, environmentally friendly schools in their own communities,” noted Rick Fedrizz, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council.


Build Green Schools is filled with facts on the benefits and costs of green schools, including the ways green schools foster learning, decrease student and teacher absenteeism from respiratory and other illnesses, reduce energy and water bills, and provide models for teaching the world’s future leaders about sustainability to benefit communities for generations to come. It is complete with profiles of schools that have already gone green, examples of policies governments and school districts have instituted to ensure future schools are green, an extensive list of resources and links, and even a social networking site for visitors to share their experiences, best practices, and creative ideas.


A 2006 study sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the American Institute of Architects, the American Lung Association, 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.


Green schools have a superior indoor environment, with clean, fresh air, free of dangerous chemicals from everyday products like carpets, paints and cleaning materials. They make use of as much natural daylight as possible, maximizing students’ ability to concentrate and stay physically and emotionally healthy while at the same time dramatically reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. On average, green schools use 33% less energy and 32% less water than conventional schools, which would bring the U.S. closer to reducing reliance on imported energy.


Green schools’ better lighting, temperature control, ventilation and indoor air quality 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 boost morale and improve teacher retention.


The USGBC’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Schools green rating system provides green-building guidelines and offers third-party verification to ensure schools’ stakeholders that their buildings incorporate the best in science, design and technology to make their schools truly green.