SCHOOLS AND GREEN DESIGN
The best investment a society can make is to provide clean, safe, healthy schools to enhance the learning environment for students and teachers. Education is vital to our future. Research studies show that green and sustainable design has an overwhelming impact on the health and productivity of students. Day lighting and indoor air quality are key components. There are numerous studies from well respected researchers demonstrating the incredible benefits of green design.
GREEN DESIGN IS NOT JUST FOR SCHOOLS
Green schools use, on average, 30-50% less energy. Green schools use, on average, 30% less water. Studies show an average of 38.5% reduction in asthma in schools with improved indoor air quality. Students in full-spectrum light were healthier, attending school 3.2 to 3.8 days more per year. Students in full-spectrum light had 9 times less dental decay than students attending schools with average light. Study of over 21,000 students showed a dramatic correlation between day lit school environments and student performance including 20% faster progression in math and 26% faster progression in reading.
HEALTHIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE BUILDINGS FOR LESS MONEY
According to studies by the American Lung Association one third of all buildings have serious indoor air quality problems. According to a study by the USGBC poor indoor air quality in U.S. causes annual loss of $15 billion in worker productivity. U.S. residential duct leakage costs consumers $5 billion annually while proper duct sealing can reduce home heating and air-conditioning costs a great deal.
The State of California Solar or Wind Energy System Credit and the Emerging Renewable Programs are two of many tax incentives and rebates the State has to offer. Section 73 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code allows a property tax exemption for certain types of solar energy systems installed on or before December 31, 2009.
OTHER AGENCY INCENTIVES
Alameda P&T offers $25,000 for energy efficient building design and equipment in new commercial construction. A design team can receive up to $50,000 for energy efficient design, while an owner can receive up to $150,000 per facility with the New Construction Cash Incentives and Design Incentives Program. Falcon Waterfree Technologies is piloting a new program open to school districts that will save 40,000 gallons of water per year for every flush urinal replaced.