The “net-zero” building boom is coming from a seemingly unlikely place: k-12 Schools. In the article “How students learn from super green schools that use zero energy” Chris Berdik says,
“Dozens of these ultra-green schools are going up in every sort of district – urban and rural, affluent and lower income, blue state and red state. Much of the advocacy for net-zero buildings has focused on environmental and economic incentives. K-12 schools run up a $6 billion energy tab every year, the Department of Energy reports – more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined, and second only to the cost of teacher salaries.”
These green schools are not only saving energy and money, they also offer a wealth of material for the students to study. Kids can track the amount of garbage produced by the school, learn about the behavior of light while studying the solar panels, graph water consumption, etc.
One issue mentioned in the article is that sometimes it is difficult for the standards to match the lessons that can be learned from the building. What are your thoughts on this? Should there be room for both?