School Climate & Safety

Being Green Getting Easier

By Laura Greifner — June 13, 2006 1 min read

Designing and building energy-efficient schools may cost more upfront, but the long-term savings more than make up the difference, school construction officials were told at a recent conference.

In fact, most buildings cost only 2 percent more to be built “green,” according to Gregory H. Kats, the keynote speaker at the conference, “Investing in the Future: Building Green Schools,” held May 17 at Haverford College in Haverford, Penn.

Mr. Kats is a principal at Capital E, a Washington-based consulting firm on clean energy technology.

A green, or “sustainable,” building is one that incorporates natural elements in its design and structure and has a minimal impact on the environment. (“School Seeks World-Class Rating for Energy Efficiency,” Dec. 14, 2005.) Advocates argue that such designs have positive effects on students’ health and performance.

The daylong summit, which drew more than 100 attendees, featured discussions of the trade-offs between the costs and benefits of building green schools, presentations of case studies, and information about tools and resources for creating green buildings.

“It is an intergenerational obligation” to construct sustainable buildings, argued Mr. Kats, who is also the author of several studies, including his recent study, “National Review of Green Schools: Costs, Benefits, and Implications for Massachusetts.”

In an afternoon panel discussion on tools for building green, Anja S. Caldwell spoke from her experiences having established and managed the Green Schools Focus for the Montgomery County, Md., public schools. The program teaches environmental responsibility and resource conservation to students in the 139,000-student district. For example, Northwood High School installed a vegetated, “green roof” stormwater management system, the first on a Maryland public school, last August.

The Green Schools Focus recently co-sponsored a “Portable Classroom Design Challenge” in which participants—from elementary school students to professional architects—designed energy-efficient portable classrooms. A team from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., won the student division with “Rooms to Go,” a classroom that featured a retractable window-wall in a non-traditional use of space.

A version of this article appeared in the June 14, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety How Biden's New Actions on Guns Could Affect Students and Schools
President Joe Biden announced steps to prevent gun violence through executive action and a push for state and federal legislation.
5 min read
High school students rally at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 21 in support of those affected at the Parkland High School shooting in Florida.
High school students rally at the U.S. Capitol in February 2018, three days after a former student shot and killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla.<br/>
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says Teens Are Driving COVID-19 Surges. Can Schools Counteract That?
Teenagers and young adults are now driving COVID-19 cases in some states, and experts say schools may be critical in preventing outbreaks.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion Empowering Teachers and Parents to Speak Up on School Safety
Rick Hess shares practical suggestions from Max Eden on how to ensure school discipline reforms are indeed keeping students and staff safe.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Audio Driving the School Bus, Waiting for a Vaccine
A veteran bus driver holds out hope he won't get COVID-19 while awaiting his first vaccination.
3 min read
Eric Griffith, 55, poses for a portrait in front of a school bus in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Griffith, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, delivered meals and educational materials during the first couple months of the coronavirus pandemic when schools shifted to remote learning.
Eric Griffith has been a bus driver for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Fla., for 20 years. He's been driving students all year and hopes to get his coronavirus vaccine soon.
Charlotte Kesl for Education Week