Green schools provide a healthy learning environment while saving energy, resources and money. The greening of schools has a positive impact on student health, test scores, teacher retention and operational costs. GBA supports such initiatives through an annual Green, Healthy Schools Conference and a bevy of online resources, including case studies, funding opportunities, legislation and advocacy efforts.
Efforts to green schools are bolstered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Governor's Green Government Council (GGGC) and financial incentives. In addition, green building certification systems have unique programs geared to address school facilities (such as LEED for Schools) and to supply them with resources.
Public and private schools in Western Pennsylvania are working to improve their facilities through LEED certification and ENERGY STAR. Although new construction and major renovation projects present distinct opportunities for greening and enhancing learning environments, our region primarily has existing schools that require energy efficiency upgrades and operation and maintenance practice improvements. A leader in this area is the Carriage House Children's Center, a preschool that has achieved Gold certification through the LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System.
Click to learn about GBA's Green Schools Initiative.
Center for Green Schools: The USGBC created the Center to engage teachers, administrators and staff to form healthy, sustainable learning atmospheres to enhance student learning.
Trane for K-12 Schools: For more than 50 years Trane has been developing fiscally and sustainably responsible schools to increase the value of learning for children through indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics.
Local Case Studies
A.L. Wilson Elementary School
Shady Side Academy Rowe Hall Renovation
Carriage House Children's Center
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With the increasing need to empower teachers and other professionals to make changes in how their classrooms operate, there was a need to design a program to teach educators about how to make their schools more sustainable and healthy places in which to learn, work and teach. The program, primarily for parents, teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and operations and maintenance professionals, will provide the tools to make classrooms healthier and sustainable while influencing a new generation of students.