The Feb. 25 news article “Report: Green schools save little money” described another in a long line of attempts to apply weak logic to a topic that shouldn’t be politicized. The last national story on this was in December 2012 about schools in Houston.
The report, according to the article, used energy cost per square foot as the indicator that “green” schools cost more to build and operate. What value should we assign to the health of our children and teachers?
While mentioned in the article, it’s worth repeating: LEED certification looks at much more than energy efficiency.
Constructing and operating any building involves trade-offs. For example, allowing a controlled amount of fresh air into the classroom prevents CO2 (produced when we breathe) from rising to unhealthy levels. But that fresh air has to be heated or cooled, which consumes energy. Mold and asthma risk are other factors.
To me, it’s worth a little extra in tax dollars to get us a better learning environment, the primary function of that building. There are now many well-documented studies that validate the effect of indoor environmental quality on learning outcomes.