Green schools are better for budgets

Published on: 
1 Aug 2017

Green schools are better for budgets because they are designed to save money over the life span of the school building.

If all new U.S. school construction and renovation went green today, the total energy savings alone would be $20 billion over the next 10 years. Additionally, according to Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits by Greg Kats, green schools use 33 percent less energy and 32 percent less water than conventionally constructed schools, significantly reducing utility costs over the average 42-year life cycle of a school.

In terms of construction and renovation, green schools can be created at or below regional K–12 construction costs and operated within existing facilities budgets. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEED-certified buildings report almost 20 percent lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings. If you are conducting a green school renovation, you can expect to experience a near 10 percent decrease in operational costs in the first year, according to the 2012 McGraw Hill World Green Building study.

The Department of Energy’s EnergySmart Schools reports that K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion annually on energy, making energy the second highest operating expenditure for schools after personnel costs. The cost savings in green schools are generated from many sources, including energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, energy-efficient lighting and occupancy sensors, daylighting strategies, water-efficient fixtures and lower operations and maintenance expenses.

Green schools strengthen the local economy, advancing the development of new skills and improved technologies.