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Report shows support for green schools, college buildings

December 01, 2005 |

A survey of 205 executives involved in K-12 school construction and 250 executives involved in university buildings showed enhanced perception of green facilities over more traditional educational buildings.

The survey, from Turner Green Building, showed the large majority of respondents believe green facilities enhance community image, promote the ability to attract and retain faculty, and improve student performance (see chart). In the university study, 59% of respondents said that having green facilities would improve their institutions' ability to win research funds.

In 2004, $33.9 billion of educational construction projects were completed. K-12 school districts are estimated to spend $6 billion a year on energy costs alone, the report stated.

However, many educational institutions ignore the long-term cost benefits of green design and construction. While the total costs of green education facilities over 20 years were considered to be lower by 73% of executives involved with green K-12 facilities and by 80% of those involved with green higher educational facilities, most institutions either don't consider total life cycle costs or else give them little emphasis in their planning.

Only half the executives involved with K-12 facilities (both green and traditional) said that school districts typically considered the total life cycle costs of projects. Even among these executives, just 7% said that total life cycle costs were given more emphasis in planning than initial project costs.

While 73% of executives involved with college and university facilities said that total costs over a project's life cycle were typically considered, only 5% said that more emphasis was placed on total life cycle costs than on initial project costs.

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