As centers of community, our nation's schools are the building blocks of communities and the keystone of our future. Please refer to the resources listed below for a wealth of information at your fingertips.
The School Facilities Cost Calculator: A Joint-Use Tool for Fair Fees. Pre-loaded with rich data from 15,000 school districts and provide step-by-step guidance in crafting an effective, transparent joint-use policy.
The Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is a large and active group of architects and allied professionals concerned with the quality and design of all types of educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. There are certain basic school design principles that should be considered in any community:
- School design should enhance teaching and learning for all
- Schools should serve as centers of community.
- Community engagement should be a part of the process.
- Health, safety, and security must be provided for.
- School facilities should be shared with other populations when appropriate.
- Design flexibility should be considered.
Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards than adults, including hazards typically encountered in schools that affect adult health and safety. Children eat, drink and breathe more per pound of body weight than adults; they have developing organ systems; they have different behaviors that may increase their risks of exposures such as hand-to-mouth behavior; and, they cannot identify hazards. Moreover, children outnumber adults by ten to one in schools.
Children's Environmental Health Network
for different states is a great tool for getting ideas for strategies!
The Living Building Challenge™ is the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture.
EPA established the Office of Children's Health Protection in May 1997 to make the protection of children's health a fundamental goal of public health and environment protection in the United States. OCHP supports and facilitates Agency efforts to protect children's health from environmental threats.
Children may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults because:
- Their bodily systems are still developing
- They eat more, drink more and breathe more in proportion to their body size
- Their behavior can expose them more to chemicals and organisms
Protecting children's health from environmental risks is fundamental to EPA's mission.
The Green Education Foundation
The Green Education Foundation, along with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, has launched the Sustainability Education Clearinghouse
. This free online tool provides K-12 educators the ability to upload and share sustainability and green-focused lessons with one another...if you click on the link above, we could connect to the Middle School curriculums – great addition!
US Department of Education
Green Ribbon Schools
The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to strive for 21st century excellence, by highlighting exemplary practices and resources that all can employ.
US Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy's EnergySmart Schools program
, which provides guidance so that education institutions can plan, finance, design, build and maintain energy-efficient facilities.
Get Smart About Energy
This Web site provides hundreds of classroom activities on energy fundamentals, energy efficiency and conservation, energy sources, and environmental impacts.
US Department of the Interior
The Department of Interior's Great Outdoors Program
, an initiative to develop a conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st Century.
Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools
, which the EPA established to help education institutions identify, correct and prevent IAQ problems.
The EPA's Clean School Bus USA
program, which helps schools reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses.
Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools
, an EPA effort to monitor the amount of toxic air pollutants near school facilities.
Integrated Pest Management in Schools
, an EPA program that offers strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds.
Asbestos in Schools
, an EPA program that provides information so school facility managers can recognize and monitor asbestos-containing materials.
The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
, which has a goal of ensuring that all schools are free from hazards associated with mismanaged chemicals.
US EPA ENERGY STAR Tools & Resources
ENERGY STAR connects organizations with the tools and resources needed to implement a successful energy management strategy. Technical guidance, procurement policies, demonstrated best practices, communications resources and awards that help distinguish an organization as an environmental steward are available. They include:
and Target Finder
ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign with student resources
ENERGY STAR Web site devoted to energy efficiency issues in schools
ENERGY STAR Publications
If all new school construction and school renovations went green starting today, energy savings alone would total $20 billion over the next 10 years. Throughout the country, project teams are building green schools with no increase in construction costs. When there is no "green premium," going green is a no-brainer.
Learn more about the rating system designed to improve children's health, productivity and learning capacity while helping school buildings be more energy efficient and resource friendly. Learn how a green school can simplify operations and significantly decrease utility and maintenance costs.
Association for Learning Environments SchoolsNEXT Design Competition
The Natural Home Building Source
Great American Homeplans
Smile Metric Style
Healthy Schools Network
Energy Savings Guide – SaveOnEnergy