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A Publication of American School & University
A Penton Media Property Sept. 22, 2011 | Vol. 5 No. 8
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Top Story
Green News
Stats Corner
Resource Center
Coming Events



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  Top Story

Jobs proposal could boost green schools

The push for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly education facilities has received a boost this month in President Barack Obama's proposed American Jobs Act.

The $747 billion plan to jolt the dragging U.S. economy would allocate $30 billion for upgrading education facilities--$25 billion for K-12 schools and $5 billion for community colleges. The administration estimates that the program would enable 35,000 U.S. schools to be modernized.

The proposal specifies that states seeking to acquire funding for school upgrades must describe how they will give priority to the use of green practices that are certified, verified, or consistent with any applicable provisions of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System; Energy Star; the Collaborative for High Performance Schools Criteria; Green Globes; or an equivalent program.

Among the types of environmentally friendly upgrades envisioned with the federal funds:

  • Abatement, removal, or interim controls of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, mold, mildew or lead-based hazards, including lead-based paint hazards.
  • Retrofitting to increase energy efficiency.
  • Selection and substitution of products and materials, and adoption of improved maintenance and operational procedures, such as "green cleaning" programs, to reduce or eliminate potential student or staff exposure to volatile organic compounds; particles such as dust and pollens; or combustion gases.
  • Modernization, renovation or repair that will reduce the consumption of coal, electricity, land, natural gas, oil or water.
  • Installation or upgrading of renewable energy generation and heating systems, including solar, photovoltaic, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, solar-thermal, and geothermal systems.
  • Modernization, renovation or repairs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and improvements to building infrastructures to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian access.

In the politically polarized climate that has infected Washington, D.C., the plan faces an uphill struggle. But early on, the proposal has won the support of numerous advocates for education and the environment.

"Conservative estimates of the money needed for school maintenance and repair nationwide amounts to $270 billion," says John Musso, executive director of the Association of School Business Officials International. "Deferred projects include everything from upgrading old technology to fixing crumbling ceilings and walls....We believe we face a very bleak financial future unless the American Jobs Act is enacted."

Rick Fedrizzi, President of the U.S. Green Building Council, says: "Our schools have long been ringing the alarm, and there are thousands of projects out there that are ready to go the minute the funding is available. On average, our schools are more than 40 years old. Nearly a quarter of them require extensive repair just to meet basic health and safety standards, and 15,000 schools have air that had been deemed unfit to breathe. Our kids deserve school buildings that enhance their learning and their health, not compromise it, and this is a way to deliver on that promise."

David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations, says: "A green school in every community will be a living symbol of how to put America back to work, improve the health of our children and teachers, and move our economy closer to a clean energy future. School modernization creates jobs for construction workers and demand for the energy efficiency products made in America's factories."

More green resources

At about the same time the president proposed his plan to improve school facilities, the Earth Day Network launched the Green Schools Leadership Center to promote the green schools movement.

The network says the center will focus on six major areas for improving and modernizing K-12 schools: greening school facilities; improving school food; upgrading school transportation; increasing recreation opportunities and outdoor education; and promoting environmental literacy and civic and community engagement.

"Earth Day Network looks forward to utilizing our new Green Schools Leadership Center to help schools reduce their energy use; improve the overall educational process; and lead healthier lives," says Sean S. Miller, Education Director at Earth Day Network.

The Green Schools Leadership Center also will provide resources to schools seeking to win the new Green Ribbon Schools award, a new U.S. Department of Education program to recognize schools that demonstrate significant progress in improving energy efficiency, sustainability and the overall health of students and staff.

By Mike Kennedy

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  Green News

University of Central Florida plans to open its own power plant

  • The University of Central Florida in Orlando will reduce its energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions on campus by opening a $12 million power plant next year, The Central Florida Future says. Read more.
  • Walden Public School, which has been opened by the Rainbow District School Board in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, is being praised as one of Canada's most environmentally friendly buildings. Read more.
  • The Oregon University System has broken ground on what will be the state's largest solar photovoltaic power program and the largest solar contract in the nation for a public university system on multiple campuses. Read more.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi has cut energy consumption costs on its Hattiesburg campus by nearly $2 million in the past year, The Hattiesburg American says. Read more.
  • The new Physical Sciences Building at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has been awarded LEED Gold certification. Read more

  • Back to Top ^

    Responsible Efforts. Sustainable Results.

    xpedx offers a suite of environmental offerings including:
    • Green products and equipment
    • Green cleaning expertise
    • Environmental reports
    • Contribution to LEED certification
    • CIMS expertise
    • Green seminars
    Let xpedx work with you to provide a healthy, clean and sustainable campus. Visit and watch our video to learn more.

      Stats Corner

    Paper chase

    Source: Yale Daily News

    Back to Top ^


      Resource Center

    Take advantage of AS&U magazine's extensive archive of green articles

    GREEN SCHOOLS Q & A: AS&U magazine asks architects about incorporating sustainable design in education facilities--their strategies now and their intentions going forward. Read the entire article.

    EFFICIENCY GOALS: The lighting of learning environments is an important focus in designing new schools and renovating older schools. Studies have shown that appropriate lighting levels and daylighting improve learning; now, climbing energy budgets have spurred school administrators to seek more efficient use of lighting. Read the entire article.

    For more on green educational facilities, go to
    AS&U's article archives.

    Back to Top ^

    Tennant ec-H2O™ technology helps customers clean greener and smarter by electrically converting water into a superior cleaning solution for most floor cleaning applications. Thousands of customers are improving productivity and experiencing cost savings while reducing their environmental footprint. Learn more about the benefits of ec-H2O at

      Coming Events

    Green calendar:

  • Oct. 4-7: Greenbuild 2011, Toronto
  • Oct. 6-7: U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association, annual meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • Oct. 12-15: North American Association for Environmental Education, annual conference, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Oct. 17-18: Green California Schools Summit, Pasadena
  • Oct. 24-25: Associated Builders and Contractors Delaware, Power of Green Conference, Newark, Del.

  • Back to Top ^

    Free Virtual Conference: The Real Impact of Lean Government
    Proven Approaches for Delivering Services without Compromise
    Hear firsthand from industry experts and government colleagues as they share innovative insights and strategies. Join us on October 11, 2011 from 11am-5pm ET for 5 jam-packed webinar sessions.


    Include Your Project in the 2012 Calendar of Industry Events

    American School & University is making plans for the 2012 Calendar of Industry Events, with a limited number of months still available. This is a budget-friendly marketing opportunity for your school or university project. The Calendar will be featured on and to view and print throughout 2012.

    Sponsorship includes your project featured on a month of the calendar, your logo and project photo in the December 2011 issue of the magazine, a sponsor email announcing the calendar and a custom email just for your project. Plus, your project will be added permanently to the gallery free of charge with a month as the Featured Project on the home page.

    Reserve one of the remaining spots today by emailing Molly Roudebush or calling her at 913.967.1959. Materials due Oct. 28.

    Back to Top ^

    About This Newsletter

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