The Hardys, who have lived in Bali for thirty years, founded and managed a successful Balinese design-based silver jewelry business before making the decision to invest in founding and creating a school. In 2006,when global warming and climate change were becoming issues of growing concern around the world, the Hardys saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The film convinced them that they must take action. They decided to create a school that would serve as a model for schools all over the world and educate children to be future leaders in solving problems associated with sustainability. The Hardy’s vision was “to inspire and lead in the world of education and sustainability.”
Over the next two years they bought the land that would become the Green School campus. They also established a factory on the same land that would process and prepare bamboo for the construction of the school’s buildings and also its furniture.
The importance of school buildings has been recognized as a fundamental element of society since the beginnings of America and beyond. Today, roughly a quarter of our nation’s population, including our youngest citizens, spends the majority of their days in school buildings. As a result, schools have become a contentious and heavily scrutinized part of civil society.
And yet, many of our nation’s schools are in disrepair, with systems in need of repair or replacement. But with state and local budgets growing increasingly limited, funding allocation for school construction and renovation needs to be carefully weighed. It is important to ensure that investments are going toward efforts that can best foster healthier buildings and environments.
As this research field moves forward, the need for collaboration will only grow, especially as we learn to make our research more broadly applicable and actionable. This exciting and necessary task promises to strengthen our understanding of the relationship between school buildings and student health and learning, which, to date, is more viscerally understood than logically proven. Our challenge, laid out in this document, is in filling gaps and clearly building links on a chain, investigating the essential phenomena at play when children are impacted by their school buildings.
As a society, we care deeply about the state of our schools, perhaps because, as one turn-of- the-century scholar stated, “[i]t is a case in which the lives and health of your children, and your neighbor’s children, are at stake, and it is your duty to know” (Mills, 1915). Thus, schools have become a highly contentious and heavily scrutinized part of civil society. And yet, despite the attention they receive, most are far from the best examples of American building. Indeed, in a recent report, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave public school buildings a D grade on their overall condition (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009). As school buildings have deteriorated, it is only responsible to step back and ask whether these failing
Currently, the Greenville County School District is undertaking one of the largest school construction projects in the United States—the building and renovation of 70 schools and centers at a cost of nearly $1 billion. It is truly a historic opportunity to provide long-lasting benefits to generations of future students but also serve as a model for school construction projects throughout the country.
In March, 2001, Upstate Forever presented its “Green Schools for Greenville” proposal to Institutional Resources (the firm supervising the project) and the School Board, urging the Board to require that green development principles be applied to the project and that green development principles be applied to the project and that LEED certification be applied to each building. The Board later approved spending $2 million to include “green thinking” in the project, and Institutional Resources convened a team of green architects, designers, and consultants to develop green schools design guidelines and an evaluation checklist. While the green elements on the extensive checklist are not required, each new or renovated school should incorporate as many as possible.
Disappointingly, the District declined to follow Upstate Forever’s recommendation to hire an expert to oversee compliance with the green checklist. To date, project managers unfamiliar with green building techniques have incorporated few green elements into the building projects.
One school in the building program, however, stands out for its multiplicity of green details: the new Riverside High School in Greer has a highly-reflective roof, is using low-emission adhesives and paints, and is lit by the sun in 90% of regularly occupied spaces. Riverside is the only K-12 school building in the state to be registered with LEED.
Upstate Forever believes that all future school projects in the Upstate can and should incorporate green design and construction principles. We can have it all: healthy and pleasant schools that boost student performance. Grand Award winner East Meadow Union Free School District has worked hard to integrate the latest in green technology while enhancing communication between custodial staff and vendors; implementing preventative maintenance plans; increasing energy efficiency and involving feedback from parents and teachers to find creative new solutions. And they're not done yet!
American School & University Magazine writes: "Although the district has made great strides in providing a safe and healthy environment for its students and teachers, Pizzo is not satisfied with the status quo. Through the collaborative efforts of administration, custodial staff, vendors, teachers, students and parents, he hopes to continue exploring new options for simultaneously maintaining a healthy, clean environment for all, while minimizing the impact on the environment." Green schools are center of the learning for whole community and teaching the students, teachers and community about adoption of Go Green policies. Green schools efforts will directly affect the environment and might prove fast effective results in coming years.
Anny spent most of her time dwelling on useful things, and she drives all her research visible through her articles. Most of her unique and challenging topics include product reviews and descriptions of eco-friendly products and technologies.