Making the Case in 60 Minutes: School Retrofits and Finance Opportunities
Greenbuild Nation. Philadelphia. On November 20, 2013 Architecture for Humanity, the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools and Zac Taylor led an interactive working session that introduced the Green Schools Investment Guide (aka, the Guide), a free online resource to support community member involvement in identifying and implementing right-sized building improvements in their neighborhood schools.
The exercise presented a series of ideas and opportunities - some modest, others pretty large overhauls - that school stakeholders could seize to initiate an action-oriented conversation about the benefits of improving our existing school buildings. Calling on the audience's expertise and values, we put the tips and tools presented in the Guide into action facilitating a real time charette to build a hypothetical case for school building improvements.
Rachel Gutter (Center for Green Schools) and Alix Ogilvie (Architecture for Humanity) introduced the session, making the case for green schools, multi-sector collaboration and a whole systems approach to project planning, design and construction. Zac Taylor (lead author of the Guide) then moderated the working session that totaled nearly 250 participants. The exercise generated a number of rich conversations and green building improvement strategies for the hypothetical case; proving once again that there is an enormous need, interest and opportunity to green our schools. The activity clearly revealed that there is no one size fits all approach.
Interested in playing a part in transforming your community's schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places for students? Then Download the Guide and get in touch to discuss opportunities near you.
Not sure why we’re making the case? Did you know that schools in the US alone, require an estimated $542 billion to be modernized and brought to working order? Not to mention, green schools are better for learning, teaching, the bottom line, the community and this planet we call home. If you don’t believe us, check out these myth busters.
Participants present their findings
Zac Taylor moderates the working session
We all aspire to build healthy, inspiring and sustainable schools for the next generation. Despite this shared vision, our schools face significant barriers to becoming truly green learning environments. More than ever, outdated school buildings are unhealthy. Budgets are strapped. Educators are too burdened to teach the 'big picture' thinking that students need to live sustainable lives. How can we work together so that every student attends a green school?