The highest LEED rated aquatics center in the US, the Niles North High School Aquatics Center is 39,204 sf and achieved LEED Gold in December of 2014. This facility uses 44% less energy and 42% less water compared to a typical facility of similar size.
Legacy Charter School in Chicago, IL, which is 61,123 square feet and was certified LEED Platinum in 2017, was created with its community in mind. Its sustainability program is rooted in citizenship goals. Design features include geometric shapes and bright colors, and the school has PV panels that provide 13% of the electricity load.
This project on the campus of the Grauer School is 9,196 square feet and was certified Gold in April of 2017. The new building has solar panels, a highly efficient HVAC system, and increased green space. In addition, the school devotes a third of their 6-acre campus to wildlife, native habitats, and nature trails.
Atrisco Elementary School in Albuquerque, part of New Mexico’s largest school system, was certified LEED Gold in February of 2017. This school has 300 PV panels and 27% of the recycled materials used in construction were sourced locally.
Originally built in 1931, the newly renovated Cambridge Rindge school is 403,393 square feet and achieved LEED Gold in July of 2013. This 1,700-student school lowered their operating costs by $335,000 annually.
At 158,960 square feet, Green Street Academy in Baltimore, MD achieved LEED Platinum in 2016. This charter school supports public transportation and has reduced overall parking lot area by sharing a lot with Kingdom Life Church.
Chapel Hill, NC
Northside Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC, is 99,500 square feet and was certified LEED Platinum in July of 2014. This new school, built on a site that has housed a school since 1924, incorporates storm water management strategies such as a rainwater cistern and pervious pavements.
When Bay Path Regional Vocational Tech High School in Charlton, MA, renovated their facility in 2015, they reused 95 percent of the original structure and added 50,000 square feet and achieved LEED Silver in June of 2016. This now 249,393 square foot facility includes new science labs and a new media center.
The first public high school for African Americans, the historic Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, DC was certified LEED Platinum in February of 2015. At 276,000 square feet, this school ties in its historic roots with elements such as a solar array and radiant flooring to save $250,000 in annual energy costs compared to the average DC public school.
Lake Mills, WI
The K-12 first school in the nation to receive LEED Platinum under v4, Lake Mills Elementary School in Lake Mills, WI is 93,284 square feet. It is a Department of Education Green Ribbon School and includes a green roof and solar hot water system.
Outperforming the Maryland High Performance Program requirements, Edward M. Felegy Elementary School in Hyattsville, MD achieved LEED Gold certification in October of 2017. Some of the sustainable strategies for this 92,000 square foot facility include a green roof, bioswales, and access to daylight in 91% of classrooms.
At 160,072 square feet and 50 classrooms, Jaime Padron Elementary School No 2 was certified Gold in April of 2016. As a result of a 256 kW PV system as well as a new HVAC system, the school reduced energy usage by 43.4%.
Opened in the fall of 2015, Willard City Schools K-12 Campus in Willard, OH is a 233,000 square foot facility that has achieved LEED Silver. This campus incorporates natural light and open floor plans and features studios and collaborative spaces to support 21st century learning.
William H. Farquhar Middle School in Olney, MD is 135,000 square feet and achieved LEED Silver in April 2017. The design is optimized to support Montgomery County’s Rustic Roads Program, which aims to exemplify the rural and agricultural character of the area. Among many green features, this school has a green roof and 100% of its electric energy is wind energy, and 90 percent of its construction waste was diverted from landfill.
Woody Creek, CO
With 20,187 square feet and 130 students, Aspen Community School near Aspen, CO achieved LEED Gold in April 2017. This school’s recycled fish net carpet, in-floor radiant heating, and 39kW photovoltaic system support its passion for the surrounding environment.
Bowling Green, KY
Bristow Elementary in Bowling Green, KY achieved LEED Silver certification in June 2013 and is 79,817 square feet. It is 73% more efficient than the average Kentucky school, saving an average of $95,000 annually, and their decision to eliminate deep fryers and tilting skillets from the kitchen both saves energy and supports initiatives to provide healthier lunches to students.
Owings Mill, MD
At 94,900 square feet, Lyons Mill Elementary School in Owings Mill, MD achieved LEED Silver certification in October of 2011. This 715-student facility features a central media center that merges the indoors and outdoors at the heart of the building as well as a rooftop classroom terrace.
Glen Allen, VA
The first LEED Gold project in the county, Glen Allen High School in Glen Allen, VA is 256,000 square feet and was certified in July 2011. This building has a white roof and was designed to reduce energy use by 28% compared to standard construction.
The Hiukkavaara Community Center in Oulu, Finland is about 11,000 square meters, or over 118,000 square feet, and achieved LEED Gold certification in August 2017. The community center has facilities to accommodate 700 pupils, including grades 1-9, a day care, adult education, and sports. The center was designed with automated control of HVAC and lighting and eliminated irrigation to reduce potable water usage.
At just over 75,000 square feet of learning space, Waverly Belmont Elementary School in Nashville, TN, achieved LEED Silver certification in June of 2017. After the school was decommissioned by the school district in 1974, new renovations have restored the school into a fully functional, sustainable learning space for children in the city.
The Alexandria Area High School in Minnesota is a little over 280,000 square feet and achieved LEED Silver certification in September of 2015. With two new three-story academic wings, housing 36 classrooms and 12 flexible learning spaces for groups of all sizes, the high school put sustainability as a core pillar for the design of the project.
At just over 32,000 square feet, the Ernie Pyle Middle School in Albuquerque achieved LEED Gold certification in September of 2017. With a new two-story classroom and a one-story arts building, the school utilizes daylighting and an outdoor teaching area to maximize sustainability. Furthermore, after installing a photovoltaics array, the school now saves 14% annually in energy costs.
The Aspira Business & Finance High School in Chicago, IL, began project design in 2010 and finished 5 years later at a cost of $22 million, achieving LEED Gold certification halfway through 2016. At just over 81,000 square feet, the charter school accommodates 900 students in a compact urban site, utilizing green and white roofs while prioritizing materials for the building that are low in VOCs and recyclable.
Just under 280,000 square feet, Essex Technical High School achieved LEED Silver certification in March 2017. The sustainable school building is located near the sensitive Ipswich River, so it utilizes strategies to minimize its impact on the local watershed, such as rainwater capture for flushing toilets and irrigation.
In October 2014, the HAEF Preschool & Kindergarten building was the first building in Greece to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Just under 37,000 square feet, this facility takes advantage of daylighting and natural ventilation, with a green roof on top of the building.
At just over 20,000 square feet, the Career Enrichment Center Addition in Albuquerque achieved LEED Silver certification in March of 2017. Part of the largest school district in New Mexico, this project was able to save 34% on annual energy costs through its sustainable design.
At 85,000 square feet, Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque achieved LEED Gold certification in October of 2017. Part of the largest school district in New Mexico, this school was able to save 59% on annual energy costs through its sustainable design.
At just under 86,000 square feet, Marie Hughes Elementary School in Albuquerque achieved LEED Gold certification in the last couple days of 2017. Part of Albuquerque Public Schools, the largest school district in New Mexico, this school was able to save 68% on energy costs through its sustainable design.
Opened in the spring of 2014 and certified LEED Platinum the following year, these two new halls at the Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School add a combined 85,000 square feet to campus facilities. Located in Ladue, Missouri, the new facilities utilize thermal windows and PV cells, as well as display energy dashboards for their students to see the reduced impact their school has on the environment.
Hunting Valley, OH
The new 52,000 square foot Academic & Science Wing at the University School opened in time for the 2012-13 school year and earned LEED Silver certification in 2017. Located in Hunting Valley, Ohio, the new wing utilizes natural light, solar heat, and geothermal heating and cooling for the new classrooms, labs, and common rooms.
LEED Certified in the fall of 2017, the Grady Middle School Addition is just above 56,000 square feet. With a focus on utilizing natural daylight, the new addition includes learning centers, science classrooms, and an educational courtyard.
Completed in 2017, the $53 million renovation of the Apollo Career Center is located in Lima, Ohio. This 224,000 square foot LEED Gold facility offers educational and career-oriented programs for juniors and seniors at the 700-student high school.
This toolkit is designed to help green schools allies address sustainability issues and impact greener policies at the school district level.
This report offers a side-by-side comparison of of each state’s legislation and program features, including dollars invested, type of allocation, purpose and intent of each, and percentage of schools impacted.
The Green Schools National Network brings us the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly (GSCQ), the only peer reviewed, high interest digital magazine that highlights evidence-based practices for replication in green, healthy, sustainable schools. GSCQ explores issues in-depth, including qualitative and quantitative research, and includes columns that report on and explore emergent issues.
An executive summary of the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report.
Building on the 2016 State of Our Schools report, the Planning for PK-12 Infrastructure Initiative (P4si Initiative) formulated a systems-based plan to address the structural problems of inequitable and inadequate school facilities.
Six national cross-sector working groups organized around basic elements of a well-managed facilities program: Data and Information, Educational Facilities Planning, Management, Funding, Governance and Decision Making, and Accountability, came together for this initiative and developed a menu of solutions to guide school funding and infrastructure at the federal, state and local levels. Published in March 2017, the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report presents the working groups’ recommended priority action items, which are intended to build and sustain high-performance public PK-12 facilities for all children.
Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform is a joint publication of the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities, The Center for Cities + Schools and the U.S. Green Building Council.
State policy places an integral role in determining both the mechanisms and funding levels for construction, renovation, and repair of school facilities. Through policy review and notes from a 2017 convening in Atlanta, this report discusses a unique schools funding mechanism in Georgia: the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST).
Download our info sheet to see how LEED certification makes school buildings healthier, more productive places for students and staff.
State legislators have powerful opportunities to promote healthy, high-performing schools through legislative activities and innovative community partnerships. This resources offers a menu of legislative options for green schools.
A how-to guide for planning and conducting in-person Green Classroom Professional workshops
The Green Classroom Professional Certificate program provides pre K-12 educators and school staff with the knowledge to identify what supports or impedes healthy, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable learning spaces.
Learning Lab is your one-stop shop for leading-edge classroom sustainability materials. Equipping and engaging educators with the right resources and preparation means students are more likely to understand the interdependence of economic, environmental, and social systems and to be empowered as global citizens.
The Global Coalition for Green Schools creates a powerful global force for ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn in a green school within this generation. It seeks to amplify the voices of the many national coalitions around the world who work tirelessly to make their schools healthy, safe and efficient.
Green Apple Day of Service inspires schools and communities to learn about sustainabilty and take action to green their school building and grounds.
In the 2016 State of Our Schools report we compile and analyze the best available school district data about U.S. K–12 public school facilities funding. The report projects that going forward our nation will under-invest in school buildings by $46 billion annually.
An inspiring compilation of Green Apple Day of Service photos and stories from around the globe.
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools, districts, and Institutions of Higher Education that are leading the way in the green schools movement. This resources offers an overview of the award and application process, as well as resource recommendations to get started.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, school staff member, student, or community volunteer, you want your school to provide a healthy, welcoming place to learn. This resource offers 12 simple priority actions to help make your school healthy, efficient, comfortable and environmentally responsible.
In June 2013, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brought together stakeholders from academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors to envision a future where our schools support thriving, healthy, and regenerative communities. Participants agreed on a shared vision where all students graduate educated for a sustainable future through the integration of the environment, economy, and equity, with the ability to apply systems thinking to problem solving and decision making by 2040. Fifteen subject matter experts undertook the task of recommending key actions that, collectively, outline a pathway to achieve our ambitious goal. This National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability intends to propel efforts to affect policies and practices through collaboration, alignment, and large-scale implementation.