Green Your Existing School
Tuesday October 13, 2009
Article Word Count:270 Comments (2) Permalink
There are over 126,000 schools in the United States covering approximately 20 billion square feet. 40% of these schools
educate 15 million students in sub-standard environmental conditions. There is an increasing awareness of the significance
and importance of green building initiatives and the use of sustainable resources for schools.
Greening these existing schools presents an enormous opportunity and a huge challenge. The USGBC LEED for existing
buildings is designed to assess the sustainability in current operations in already existing buildings, under its Operations
and Maintenance Program (LEED EB:O&M). This program affords operators and owners of existing buildings an entry route to
LEED certification. It also provides a report card of the level of performance to which operations and maintenance policies
are being maintained with reference to a green standard. By achieving this, schools will function more efficiently, students
will apply themselves better and teachers will achieve greater work satisfaction.
Schools looking to incorporate green initiatives incrementally can immediately initiate in the following areas:
- Conduct an analysis of existing energy performance that includes electrical and mechanical applications. Identify ways
and means to improve efficiency.
- Carry out an assessment of water consumption and treatment including water discharge systems and campus water usage. Find
ways and means to conserve water and reduce wastage. Rainwater harvesting and installation of water–flow control
systems on faucets and flushes are two such avenues open to exploration.
- Improve indoor air and lighting quality, and thermal comfort. Eliminate ozone–depleting gases in the HVAC system
and assure an ample flow of fresh air through the system.
- Reduce material waste in building operation and maintenance. Establish waste management practices and initiate recycling
and conservation programs.
Small measures indeed with negligible financial outlay, but the benefits will be apparent almost immediately.
Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 2 comments
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