January 15, 2004
Building Greener, Healthier Schools
Over the next few years, tens of billions of dollars will be spent to build and renovate K-12 schools in the United States. This investment presents a tremendous opportunity to create facilities that not only advance the learning process, but are healthy, environmentally sound and cost effective to operate. A new approach to school design and construction aims to take advantage of this opportunity by creating “high performance” schools.
High performance building - also termed “green” or “sustainable” building - emphasizes early, integrated consideration of a wide range of environmental and health goals, including environmentally-sound site planning, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, daylighting, and sustainable building materials and products. This approach is gaining momentum in communities throughout the country and is the subject of a new ELI report, Building Healthy, High Performance Schools: A Review of Selected State and Local Initiatives.
On January 15, ELI hosted a discussion about the policies, programs and resources that have been developed to help ensure that new and renovated schools are sustainable - educationally, environmentally, and financially. Panelists included Deane Evans (Executive Director, Center for Architecture and Building Science Research, NJ Institute of Technology), Bob Axelrad (Senior Policy Advisor, Indoor Environments Division, US EPA), and Judy Guse-Noritake (Chair, Alexandria (VA) Park and Recreation Commission). Tobie Bernstein (Senior Attorney, ELI) moderated the discussion.