Actualité 13.01.2012

Architectural Record – "Schools of the 21st Century"

Au moment où les fermetures d’écoles à la CSDM semblent de plus en plus nombreuses, cet article est probablement plus pertinent que jamais!

La Rédaction

Excerpt from the article:

Sustainable Solutions

At a time when many districts are tightening their belts, the green schools movement is gaining steam. We check in with administrators and architects, along with nonprofit groups that are stepping up to help.

By Jenna M. McKnight

On an unseasonably warm December day, Phoebe Beierle is making the rounds at various facilities in the Boston public school system. The assiduous 29-year-old sustainability advocate has a mile-long list of aspirations, and today she’s on a mission to spur recycling efforts. She meets with school administrators, peppering them with questions: What materials do they recycle? Do they use Styrofoam trays in the cafeteria? How much garbage do they generate each week?

“My role as sustainability director for the district is my dream job,” says Beierle, who holds a degree in environmental studies and worked on green building and renewable energy projects before joining the Boston school district. “Every day, I’m excited to have the opportunity to work toward improving schools and the education we provide for children.”

Beierle is on loan to the district through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) new Green Schools Fellowship program, which places sustainability gurus in cash-strapped public school systems for three-year terms. The fellows are charged with boosting or creating green initiatives—from energy audits to edible gardens—depending on the district’s needs and resources. In addition to Beierle, the center has hired a fellow to work in Sacramento, with hopes of expanding the program in the coming years. United Technologies Corporation is helping to fund the endeavor.

The fellowships are just one facet of the USGBC’s burgeoning Center for Green Schools. Established in the fall of 2010, the center is an outgrowth of the organization’s National Green Schools Campaign, which was launched in 2007 in conjunction with the LEED for Schools rating system. At its core, the center’s raison d’être is to promote sustainability in the educational sector at all levels, from building design to facility management to classroom curriculum. The 12-member staff, bolstered by an army of volunteers, not only advises school districts, but also provides support to policymakers, USGBC chapters, student groups, and nonprofit organizations.

“We’re like a campaign organizer,” says center director Rachel Gutter, who spends much of her time zipping around the country to spread the green schools gospel. “We’re getting people the materials they need, linking them up with sponsors, providing training, offering a communication platform. We kind of function as a center of gravity for the movement.” The center also coordinates events; last fall, it teamed up with Robert Redford to host a green schools summit at his Sundance Resort in Utah, where dozens of civic and educational leaders converged to exchange ideas.”

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(Source: Architectural Record)