Going green is picking up momentum in the education sector. The first LEED certified high school, Staley High School, will open next month in Kansas City, Missouri. Designed by Hollis + Miller, most of the $89 million steel structure is recycled. All of the utilities are designed to be economical: there’s a geo-thermal heating system, in which much of the heat is stored underground in the summer, and later reused in the winter, according to a KC Community News article. All the water fixtures are low-flow to reduce waste. Light fixtures are triggered by occupancy sensors to save energy. Likewise, all materials and supplies came from vendors within a 500-mile radius to diminish fuel and labor expenses. All of these features are part of green building projects guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council and based on its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
Marketing specialist Jennifer Baldridge says more green-design schools are in the future. “Some schools are opting to not get certified, but they don’t realize how much the public will soon start to drive this issue,” she says in a press release. “It’s a win/win for our environment and the communities due to the long-term operational savings that going green means.”