Building Next-Generation Schools

School districts are increasingly committed to energy efficiency

In the last 10-15 years, school districts have become increasingly committed to making energy conservation and efficiency – and the sizeable and sustained cost savings that accompany energy-efficient construction – a higher priority than ever before. Architects, engineers and construction firms that concentrate on school facilities have been striving to raise the bar for energy efficiency ever since.

Today, there is a new building boom of school construction, especially across the Sun Belt area of the U.S. where populations are exploding at a record pace. School district administrators know that the choices they make today regarding the design and construction of a school will have a long-term economic and environmental impact that could easily last 30, 40 or 50 years. That’s why energy efficiency is often among the top criteria of planning for a new school.

Before moving forward with the design and construction of this next wave of school buildings, architects, builders and school district administrators should reconsider which materials will be most effective in constructing energy-efficient, high-performance schools. They should compare traditional building materials with more integrated building products and systems that can meet, and even exceed the demands of new codes, while reducing the cost and complexity of construction.

Understanding these options is critical to ensuring that school district administrators can make informed decisions that will impact their respective communities for the better part of this century.

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