High Performance School Buildings: Energy-Smart Schools That Make a Difference

Dec 01, 2001 | by
  • Description

Over seventy percent of U.S. schools still in use today were built before 1960, according to the General Accounting Office. In the next decade, school districts around the nation will have to replace or renovate over six thousand of these buildings, and the school's administrators will aim to construct the best possible learning environments while using limited budgets. At this EESI Congressional briefing, co-hosted by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, a panel of experts discussed the concept of a "whole building design" as a way to attain a high performance school building. With an integrated design, a school's various components work together as a whole system to produce an efficient and well-operating building. Another key aspect to creating a high performance building is implementing an energy management program to monitor and reduce energy use wherever possible. In recent years, many legislators, architects, engineers and school officials have begun to embrace this holistic approach to building design and function. Not only will it lower a school building's overall energy costs and environmental impact, initial studies indicate that high performance school buildings also improve student performance.