HISD Shares Information on its Green Building Program

The Houston Independent School District is highlighting its commitment to building sustainable schools with a new web section dedicated to raising awareness about its green building program and the different ways campuses are participating.

The web page is located at houstonisd.org/GreenSchools and features information about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which were developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide builders a framework and guidelines for green building.

All new schools built under the 2012 bond program will be built to LEED standards in an effort to ensure district facilities provide healthy learning environments that help conserve resources.

“Our vision is to design sustainable facilities that create a healthy and rich learning environment,” Dan Bankhead, HISD’s General Manager of Facilities Design said. “These campuses should be conducive to learning for our students and also manage resources efficiently.”

To date, the district has more than two dozen schools that are either LEED certified or have pending applications. Most of those schools were built under the 2007 bond program.

Visitors to the green school website can get detailed information about the LEED program and also view the scorecards of schools participating in the program.

In addition, there is a link to an interactive graphic by the Center for Green Schools on the characteristics of a green school, such as facilities that encourage recycling, promote habitat protection and use natural daylighting.

Schools that aren’t participating in the LEED program can still promote sustainability by implementing programs to improve students’ environmental literacy. The district is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation on its Eco-Schools program to help teachers and students make positive changes on their campuses.

More information on that program, including how schools can participate, is being added to the website.

“We hope all these resources will encourage staff, students and their families to explore the different ways they can improve their school environments,” Bankhead said. “This new web section is just one way to keep the conversation going.”