Green School Committee Description

Press Release: March 1, 2005

The CTGBC is conducting a program that will form the foundation for educating and transforming the thinking of key influential leaders in regard to building high performance, green schools in Connecticut. Included in Phase I is a survey of existing and planned school buildings, education of and involvement with statewide and local leaders and initiation of an annual design contest for college students. Our intent is to expand the CTGBC educational activities related to high performance green public schools based on the output of this program and to seek funding from other sources to continue on this multi-year program.

The CTGBC intends to coordinate a well-designed process, involving experienced public and private professionals as well as the general public that will identify and report on opportunities and challenges presented by high performance green schools in Connecticut. In addition, we will conduct a survey of Connecticut school districts to identify existing structures and planned building programs.

Objectives

To engage and develop a state-wide and local support groups comprised of public and influential private sector individuals who will advocate development of high performance green schools;

To educate decision-makers, legislators, and other key constituencies about the importance of high performance, energy efficient green schools; To develop a inventory of all existing and planned public school facilities in Connecticut;

To develop an objective, comprehensive report that delineates and prioritizes opportunities and challenges presented by high performance green schools; and

To develop a process that will facilitate building high efficient schools including existing structures.Specific efforts to efficiently achieve these objectives for this initial 9-month project include:

Enlist a CTGBC subcontractor to manage the stakeholder process for both the statewide and local decision maker groups. The statewide meeting will involve a group of approximately 30 stakeholders from key constituents (i.e. school boards and superintendents, CT Department of Education, in-state architects and manufacturers, other school associations, etc.) who will actively participate and support design and construction of high performance green buildings. Local meetings will include selected school district personnel as well as municipal leaders, commercial firms, PTA and teacher organizations;

The stakeholder process will educate the attendees on high performance buildings and will identify issues, concerns, barriers, conflicting state mandates and perceptions that impede the construction of Green Schools in Connecticut. In addition, this process will also identify benefits such as enhanced energy security, productivity, increased environmental quality and energy cost savings. We will use this process to help identify alternate solutions to the identified obstacles as well as to develop an educational process that will raise awareness of the benefits.

The stakeholder construct will utilize the successfully demonstrated process from the Connecticut Climate Change Stakeholder dialog 2004;

With consensus of the process participants, we will work towards a set of analyzed, deliberated, and forward-looking actions including stakeholder recommendations and prioritization of future activities that will be compiled in a CTGBC report on high performance green schools in Connecticut.

The Institute for Sustainable Energy will conduct a survey that will attempt to compile specific data on all the schools within Connecticut including information as to the plans for new infrastructure to be built in the future. This data will help to identify opportunities to increase the quality of school buildings through the design and construction of high performance green buildings.

CTGBC’s Education Committee will organize and hold events, open to the public, on topical areas of relevance for high performance green schools (i.e. indoor environmental quality, clean energy and climate change, high performance green building design standards, and site issues such as erosion control, etc.)

The CTGBC Emerging Green Builder Committee will initiate an annual local competition for college students to apply the LEED-EB™ (LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System) standard to existing school buildings, to identify opportunities to green these buildings as well as raise awareness and educate school officials and the next generation.

The successful implementation of this process will result in cross-agency and inter-sector participation, advocacy and support. The spirit of collaboration and ownership developed on this project is intended to form a successful basis for future activities that will support design and construction of high performance schools in Connecticut.

Products Or Outputs

Consensus by the participating stakeholders on the set of actions that will support development of high performance green schools in Connecticut. Formation of a collaboration of private and public sector of statewide and local leadership organizations and personnel that will actively support high performance green schools.

A comprehensive report and PowerPoint presentation that will be provided to key decision makers and advocacy groups on the opportunities and challenges presented by high performance green schools.

An inventory of all existing and planned public school facilities in Connecticut. Public dissemination of information on the project and the project's recommendations which will be transmitted to key state and local personnel and will be continuously updated and posted on the CTGBC website.

Results Or Outcomes

Greater awareness of the benefits of Green schools in Connecticut, particularity among key policy makers that may lead to the generation of public policies, executive orders, regulations, and market-based programs which support construction of high performance green schools in Connecticut.

Development of statewide and local municipal and school district support for high performance green school design, construction, and operation.

Development of objective data including a list of the opportunities, challenges and environmental, health, & economic benefits that arise from building high performance green schools

Support

Phase I of this program will be support by a combination of external contributors (The Kendall Foundation, CT Clean Energy Fund) and internal CTGBC funding.