I heard an interview with Todd Myers [Director of WPC’s Center for the Environment] on the radio the other afternoon. He’s been conducting an investigation into the efficacy of Washington State’s “green schools” mandate and has concluded that supporters of the mandate have made exaggerated the cost savings of green schools.
“Lawmakers passed the mandate for one-size-fits-all “green” government building construction standards in 2005 based on numerous promises, including that it would reduce energy costs for state buildings and increase test scores. WPC looked at the data and discovered the top-down mandate has failed to live up to its proponents’ promises and in some cases is actually using more energy and costing more than non-green buildings. After reviewing WPC’s research, KING 5’s Susannah Frame decided to investigate school district claims, resulting in at least one official confirming there are no actual cost savings from these mandates.”
And a link to the KING 5 story:
There’s video of the report available at that link as well.
“It [Gray Middle School, Tacoma] has impressive environmentally friendly features everywhere you look. Some of them include banks of windows for lots of natural light, recycled beams from an old high school, rubber flooring that doesn’t require chemicals, drought tolerant landscaping, and a filtration system that circulates fresh air all day long.”
There’s a video on the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website that promotes the benefits of these green schools. In the video, the SPI and Department of Ecology claim that in exchange for an approximate 2% increase in design and building cost, green schools cost 10-15% less in operating costs. Kudos to Susannah Frame at KING 5 and Todd Myers at WPC for digging for the truth on this one.
“Large districts in the state tell us it’s [green school construction] between 3 and 7 percent more expensive. That adds up.
Half a billion dollars will be spent on school construction in the state this year.
If green mandates cost 5 percent more, that’s $25,000,000 additional dollars. All that money comes from local school district tax dollars.
After the first year, the legislature pulled all funding for the green schools mandate.”
That last sentence made me wonder: if the very people [the Legislature] who imposed this green school mandate don’t believe in it enough to fund it, why is it still in effect?