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Biden’s infrastructure proposal includes massive investment in school buildings

Codes and Standards

Biden’s infrastructure proposal includes massive investment in school buildings

‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’ to upgrade HVAC and other key systems.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | July 14, 2021

The Biden Administration’s proposed infrastructure spending plan is a rare chance for most school districts to make their buildings greener and cheaper to operate.

This is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to make major upgrades to public school facilities, according to an engineer specializing in green buildings. For example, an estimated 36,000 schools have ventilation systems in need of upgrades. Many of these systems use technology invented and designed in the 1970s, and they are far less than ideal from health and wellness perspectives. They also do not support aggressive carbon reduction and energy-efficiency goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a closer look at the physical condition of America’s classrooms. It may prompt the federal government to address the shortcomings.

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which would make $130 billion in federal money available to schools in need of repair over the next decade. The lead sponsor says funding is badly needed because without it, school districts would be largely on their own to build and renovate buildings.

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