Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools at USGBC Release "The Green Schools Investment Guide" Free resource outlines how K-12 schools can implement healthy and resource-efficient building improvements

SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today released "The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient and Inspiring Learning Spaces," a free downloadable resource for K-12 schools and communities that demonstrates how schools can implement healthy and resource-efficient building improvements.

"The Green Schools Investment Guide" outlines the steps that any school stakeholders – from school administrators and elected officials to staff and students to parents and businesses – can take to transform their local schools. The 70-page, action-oriented resource demonstrates how investments in America's school buildings can improve student and staff well-being and academic performance, conserve scarce resources and foster thriving and sustainable communities.

"At the Center for Green Schools, we work to equip and deploy a variety of school stakeholders – the people who make the case, make the decisions and get things done – with the tools they need to create healthy, efficient and inspiring learning environments. We designed this guide, in partnership with Architecture for Humanity, to make sure that everyone has a common language for how school improvement projects get proposed, funded and implemented," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. "From parents to teachers to principals, we're confident that this resource will provide champions with the guidance that they need to advocate for schools that enhance the educational experience and encourage our children to dream of a brighter future."

In the 2013 "State of Our Schools" report released earlier this year, the Center for Green Schools estimated that it would take approximately $271 billion to bring public school buildings up to working order and comply with laws. When the cost of modernizing existing school buildings up to today's education, safety and health standards is factored in, the total rises to an estimated $542 billion. "The Green Schools Investment Guide" serves as a first step to fix this deficit, presenting ideas and tools for immediate action in schools.

"We're going to need an incredible amount of creativity and collaboration to tackle our nation's school building maintenance needs," said Zac Taylor, lead author of the guide and researcher at Architecture for Humanity. "This guide shows that you don't need to be a school board member or principal to be an advocate for our schools. Share this guide with your friends. See how your local school's energy performance stacks up against others across the nation by using simple online tools like EPA's Portfolio Manager. If you're a parent, host a PTA meeting to discuss the state of our schools and form an action committee. The Guide is full of ideas and tools you can use to take action today."

Earlier this month, Architecture for Humanity and the Center presented the guide at the Green California Summit in Sacramento, Calif.  Over the next several months, the two organizations will partner with education, design, building and other industry partners to distribute the guide to schools across the United States.

This collaboration is part of the Center's Green Apple initiative, a cause-marketing effort that gives individuals companies and organizations the opportunity to transform all our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places for students. Through this collaboration, Architecture for Humanity and the Center will build the case for investment in school buildings by designing, applying and scaling resources to eliminate our nation's deferred school maintenance bill. The two organizations will be implementing school improvement projects, addressing school finance barriers and providing tools to educators. 

The Green Schools Investment Guide can be downloaded for free at centerforgreenschools.org/investmentguide.

About the Center for Green Schools at USGBC

The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From kindergarten to college and beyond, the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play. For more information, visit centerforgreenschools.org or find us on Twitter at @mygreenschools and Facebook at Facebook.com/centerforgreenschools.

About Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 75,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.  For more information, visit architectureforhumanity.org or find us on Twitter at @archforhumanity and Facebook at http://on.fb.me/156PNav.

About Green Apple
Green Apple is an initiative of the Center for Green schools at USGBC to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future. Green Apple's flagship event is the Green Apple Day of Service, which will take place on Sept. 28, 2013, and will bring together thousands of students, teachers, parents and community leaders from around the globe to improve our school environments through service projects, education, community events and more. Green Apple is funded through generous support from partners including United Technologies CorporationInterfaceHoughton Mifflin HarcourtSolarCity and Excel Dryer. For more information, visit mygreenapple.org.

SOURCE Architecture for Humanity



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