The U.S. Green Building Council Georgia Chapter has been awarded a seed grant from Turner Foundation to enhance two programs, one for high schools and the other for elementary and middle schools, that will engage 200 schools for the 2011-2012 school year. The programs are part of the Chapter’s High Performance, Healthy Schools initiative, which helps schools effectively implement sustainability projects.
To track results and progress of the programs, students affiliated with the International Knowledge & Research Center for Green Building at Southern Polytechnic State University will manage data entry, including two years of historical school performance data. They will use the newly developed Sustainability Dashboard, a unique web-based service that makes tracking sustainability initiatives affordable and easy.
The high school program is called “Green YOUR School” and is part of the SkillsUSA Competition in partnership with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia. Students compete by completing tasks in three areas: submission of a LEED for Existing Buildings scorecard for their school, submission of an energy audit, and the development and implementation of a student conservation program. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the green building rating system created by the USGBC.
The elementary and middle school program is a partnership with the Girls Scouts of Greater Atlanta, United Parcel Service and the USGBC Georgia Chapter. Volunteers from UPS help Girl Scout Troops establish “Sustainability Teams” in their elementary and middle schools. The teams help the school systems reduce significant costs in their operational budgets while instilling in the students improved conservation behaviors, which can also be taken home.
Sustainability Teams will be piloted during the 2011-2012 school year at Forsyth County Schools (suburban), Butts County Schools (rural) and various schools in the Atlanta area (urban). The teams will implement energy conservation, water conservation, recycling, and clean air school programs. BD+C