Mon, 11/26/2012 – 17:54 — Zac Taylor
We all aspire to build healthy, inspiring and sustainable schools for the next generation.
Despite this shared vision, our schools face significant barriers to becoming truly green learning environments. More than ever, outdated school buildings are unhealthy. Budgets are strapped. Educators are too burdened to teach the ‘big picture’ thinking that students need to live sustainable lives.
How can we work together so that every student attends a green school?
Most designers are eager to help improve school facilities. Yet complicated budgetary issues prevent building improvements from taking place. As a result, our schools and students suffer from chronic underinvestment. We’re here to fix that. Architecture for Humanity and its partners are helping schools go green by pairing finance and learning programs with inspired, youth-led design. We’re equipping schools to save cash, save the environment, and train the next generation of sustainability ‘do-ers’.
Over the next five years, this program aims to directly impact learning spaces serving thousands of students through hands-on learning sustainability learning opportunities, direct engagement between design professionals and school community members, and by facilitating high impact private sector investment in school facilities.
The Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown
Guerrilla Green is a growing movement of frustrated young people tired of waiting for sustainable transformation in the built environment. The place they spend most of their time, the school campus, is usually built with little care to future generations and in some cases contain toxins that increase the risk of cancer in students and teachers. As more schools push for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), very few give an outlet for practical and tangible results. We’re changing that. This inaugural sustainable showdown invites teams of middle and high school students across the U.S. to bring innovative solutions to their school buildings, outdoor spaces and activities.
The Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown is supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and Youth Rock the Rebuild.
The Green Schools Investment Guide
How can we enable schools overcome financial and administrative obstacles to green building, incentivize teacher and student involvement in facilities management, and ultimately transform learning environments so that students learn better, teachers teach more effectively, and schools become healthier, more sustainable and inspired learning environments?
In collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Architecture for Humanity seeks to address these ambitious questions and to prime schools for sustained investment by outlining a comprehensive path for schools to finance and implement building improvements. To be released in April 2013, The Green Schools Guide will address this deep information gap through an easy-to-digest menu of strategies to identify, finance, and implement school improvements and diverse case studies that demonstrate effective upgrading models.
The Guide is a joint initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and Architecture for Humanity, and is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.