Green Schools Legislation Approved by the House

I'm sure many of you saw last week's announcement that the House of Representatives approved legislation to modernize, upgrade, and green America's schools by a vote of 275 to 155.

Brea Olinda Green High SchoolIf signed into law, The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act would "ensure that school districts quickly receive funds for projects that improve schools' teaching and learning climates, health and safety, and energy efficiency."

H.R. 2187 authorizes $6.4 billion for school renovation and modernization projects for the 2010 fiscal year. According to the House Committee on Education and Labor, 100 percent of the funds are required to go to green projects. How exciting is that?

As a K12 architect at LPA, I witness the desire for green schools on a daily basis. With an established policy in place, school districts will be encouraged to understand the cost savings and in turn, take positive actions. This is an amazing time for school districts -- they have the opportunity to not only build new facilities and enhance existing ones, but also accommodate 21st-century teaching programs and improve the overall function of school sites and amenities.

As the Green Schools Advocate for the U.S. Green Building Council in Orange County, I am excited and delighted by the news and will be following the legislation closely as it moves to the Senate. Our students and their parents will continue to benefit as green, sustainable design becomes more and more mainstream.