[COVER STORY]Living Up to the Expectation?
Beyond the prospect for energy savings, many school boards assume there will be additional costs associated with green buildings, including the LEED certification effort and the associated building materials and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. They typically expect these items will add to the cost of planning, design and construction. The reality is that you can design and build a highly sustainable school at a lower cost than schools built using traditional design and construction methods.
[FACILITIES]Exploring the Very Real Possibility of Net-Zero
Carbon neutrality, net-zero, whatever you call it, is going to be the way everybody will judge the success of sustainability strategies for school districts. Schools are public institutions by their very nature, and the public more and more desires that institutions be accountable from an energy perspective. As energy prices increase, there will be a financial reason to go carbon neutral as well.
[SECURITY]Secure, Sustainable Schools
Both security and sustainability are important. Newtown and other school shootings make the case for security. The case for sustainability is strong, too. Estimates say that buildings produce 35 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in the U.S. and use 37 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. Sustainable design and construction can improve on that record. The easiest way to integrate security and sustainability into a building is to incorporate both into the original design.
[TECHNOLOGY]Save the Planet One Penny at a Time
Everyone wants to save the environment, but isn't it extra nice when we can save money at the same time? Let’s take a look at one school district that did just that. North Kansas City Schools in Kansas City, Mo., serves more than 19,600 students across 32 educational sites. As one can imagine, serving that many students means printing a lot of paper. “Prior to choosing a new printing solution, we really had no system in place,” says Richard Gentry, director of Purchasing for the district. “What we had was about 2,000 laser and inkjet printers scattered around the district, plus 120 copiers.”
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The FY 2014 Obama Education Budget: A Realistic Proposal or Just Dead on Arrival?
On Wednesday, Apr. 10, President Obama made public his proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget which includes several key investments in education. There are several programs and initiatives that cut across agency budgets and require partnerships/joint ventures among agencies to be fully implemented. The joint-agency ventures are occurring more often under this presidency because the administration recognizes the need for multiple agencies for these efforts to be effective and successful.
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