A collaborative project of AIA Kentucky, Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Association of School Administrators

High Performance Sustainable Schools

Innovative New School Opens in Lexington
Greening America's Schools Report Available
Report Says
Survey Finds Architects Designing Green to Address Demand for Lower Building Operating Costs
Sustainable Design Resources from AIA
Links to Information about Sustainable Schools

Innovative New School Opens in Lexington

Fayette County Public Schools opened Locust Trace Agriscience Farm, a new school in Lexington for juniors and seniors interested in careers in the equine industry and agriculture.  The school is designed by Lexington's Tate.Hill.Jacobs:Architects to generate as much energy as it consumes, and serves as a teaching tool not only for students but also for local architects and builders.  Learn more in an article by Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen.


Greening America's Schools Report Available

Greening America’s Schools, a national report released October 31, 2006, reveals that building energy-efficient schools results in lower operating costs, improved test scores, and enhanced student health. The AIA-sponsored report—produced by Capital E, a national clean energy technology and green building consulting firm—concludes that schools that are designed to be environmentally friendly would save an average of $100,000 each year.

The report offers a detailed analysis of 30 green schools in 10 states built between 2001 and 2006. This sample demonstrates that the total financial benefits of green schools are 20 times greater than the initial cost and include energy and water savings and improved student health and test scores. With more than $35 billion projected to be spent in 2007 on K-12 construction, the conclusions of this report have far-reaching implications for future school design.

“This study underscores the enormous cost of poor design and the critical impact that good design and operation has on the quality of our children’s education,” says AIA President Kate Schwennsen, FAIA. “The findings indicate that there are tremendous benefits from energy-efficient school design, not only from an economic standpoint, but from increased student test scores and far healthier environments through improved indoor air quality.”

Great benefits, cost and otherwise
If all new school construction and renovations were designed to be environmentally conscious starting today, the report states, energy savings alone would total $20 billion over the next 10 years. The major benefits documented in Greening America’s Schools include:

“More fiscally prudent and lower risk”
Study author and Capital E Managing Principal Greg Kats states, “The financial benefits of green schools are substantially broader than those quantified in the report and include the creation of new educational opportunities, improved equity in education, and insurance savings. Building green schools is more fiscally prudent and lower risk than continuing to build unhealthy, inefficient schools.”

Kats is the former director of finance for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy and has worked with dozens of corporations, developers, state agencies, and organizations to arrive at conservative cost/benefit comparisons of different environmental and building strategies.

The report’s finding include:

This report is intended to answer this fundamental question: how much more do green schools cost, and is greening schools cost effective?” Download the report here.


Report Says

A new report published by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council —which resulted from a three-day meeting at the Sundance Resort in Utah in November—details what mayors, superintendents, and other local leaders can do to advance the movement for environmentally friendly schools.

The Local Leaders in Sustainability: Special Report from Sundance outlines a national action plan that mayors and local leaders can use as a framework to develop and implement a green schools initiative. The report also provides a comprehensive review of the benefits of green schools; a summary of local, state and federal policy solutions; leadership profiles of green school advocates; and case studies from both large cities and small communities. Together, these resources can serve as a roadmap to begin your journey to green your community’s schools.


Survey Finds Architects Designing Green to Address Demand for Lower Building Operating Costs

2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index Shows Increasing Practice of Sustainable Design; Client Demand and Technology are Key Drivers

Washington, D.C., November 7, 2007 — Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced the results of the 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA member architects in the United States are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. The index shows that green building has taken a firm hold on the industry and has captured the attention of both architects and their clients. The 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index survey reports 70% of architects say client demand is the leading driver of green building and that the primary reason these owners and developers are demanding greener buildings is for reduced operating costs. Architects are responding by significantly increasing their use of sustainable elements such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, recycled building materials and using software to model energy usage.

Today's Green Building Landscape

According to the Autodesk/AIA Green Index, less than half of architects were incorporating sustainable design practices into their projects five years ago. However, this number is quickly rising with 90 percent of architects expecting to incorporate some sustainable elements by 2012. This rapidly growing adoption of sustainable design is in direct response to a strong client demand for green building, with 70 percent of this year's respondents citing client demand as the main driver pushing architects to go green. When asked to cite a reason behind clients' push toward green building, 64 percent of respondents cited the reduced operating costs that can be obtained through sustainable design as the cause.

"Buildings are the leading provider of greenhouse emissions, and in 2005 the AIA set a goal to reduce carbon emissions from buildings by 50 percent by 2010 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030," said AIA EVP/CEO Christine McEntee. "The results of the survey are encouraging, but there needs to be a greater sense of urgency to make sustainable design the norm in the profession. To that end, we will be releasing additional resources in 2008 to better educate both architects and clients on best practices and benefits of green buildings."

The survey also shows that architects are making significant strides to meet their client demand for green building. Working to develop their sustainable design skills, 88 percent of respondents have received training or continuing education focused on green building. This year's Green Index also shows a significant increase in the practice of sustainable design since 2002. According to this year's survey, the industry has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of architects utilizing high-efficiency HVAC systems in their projects over the past five years. Other areas of growth include the use of highly reflective roofing materials, which has jumped 18 percent since 2002, and the adoption of energy modeling and baseline analysis, which has seen a 17 percent increase in that same period.

Moving the Industry Forward

While almost 75 percent of Green Index respondents believe that the building industry is headed in the right direction regarding climate change, and 54 percent believe architects are responsible for developing and implementing solutions to this issue, the survey also shows that there is still significant opportunity for architects to deliver on green building practices. Although 50 percent of architects reported having clients inquire about green building on the majority of their projects, only 30 percent of architects actually implemented green building elements in their projects. In addition, only 10 percent of architects are currently measuring the carbon footprint of their projects.

"We are encouraged that the 2007 Green Index shows a growing number of architects practicing green building," said Phil Bernstein, FAIA, LEED AP, Autodesk Vice President of AEC Industry Strategy and Relations. "Since only 10 percent of architects are currently measuring the carbon footprint of their projects, Autodesk recognizes a need to make this an easier and more efficient process using new and existing technology solutions. We look forward to continued cooperation with the AIA to help architects use technology to design more environmentally responsible buildings."

When asked what green building efforts they expect to adopt in the next five years, over half the respondents said they will be using tools to enable the prediction and evaluation of the environmental impact and lifecycle of the building materials used in their projects, a 36 percent increase from today. Fifty-six percent of respondents also stated that they will be using design software to evaluate and explore alternative building materials to maximize energy performance and minimize their environmental footprint.

Research Methods

The Autodesk/AIA Green Index was conducted online by StrategyOne Research in October 2007 among 347 practicing architects in the United States. The architects were questioned on their use of 14 green design practices: five years ago, over the previous 12 months, and their expected use five years from now. The design practices were based on the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

The architects who responded to the survey come from a mix of design practices. Forty-four percent are predominantly involved with commercial projects, 32 percent with institutional, 20 percent with single family homes, and 4 percent with industrial projects. Sixty-two percent of the architects have 15 or more years of experience. Additionally, 88 percent of the architects have received training or continuing education on the subject of green buildings. The full report is available on the Autodesk Web site at http://www.autodesk.com/green.

About the American Institute of Architects:
For 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real. www.aia.org

About Autodesk:
Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit Autodesk.com.

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document


Sustainable Design Resources from AIA

Sustainable design makes the difference and it’s so important for owners to feel knowledgeable and confident when talking about the issue. The AIA has compiled these resources to help you better understand the costs, show great examples, and introduce you to AIA architects who walk the walk on sustainable design. AIA architects have sustainable solutions that can help you leave a greener footprint. Click to learn more.


Links to Information about Sustainable Schools

Governor’s Office of Energy Policy

Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools

American Institute of Architects – Sustainability Resource Center

Build Green Schools, by the US Green Building Council

U.S. Department of Energy - EnergySmart Schools

Advanced Energy Design Guides for K-12 School Buildings

Better Bricks

Whole Building Design Guide





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