By Katie Stanford
Facilitiesnet EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
Solar panels line the roofs, LED light fixtures cover the ceilings, “smart boards” hang from the acoustically sound walls, and low emitting carpet tiles run across the floors. In recent years, green schools around the country have entirely redefined the concepts of innovation and hands-on learning, making a strong case for the ability of these buildings to improve student performance and occupant health.
Resolving typical performance issues such as high energy consumption, poor indoor air quality, or inadequate ventilation have become an industry norm, and green schools now strive for the valedictorian spot by integrating sustainable strategies that go above and beyond. Many of the top innovative strategies seen in K-12 education are inspired by rating systems, such as LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, Net Zero Energy Certification, and others. But these innovative schools also explore features such as renewable energy generation, sustainable curriculums, and green facility operations.