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Local U.S. Green Building Council launches green classroom project

The O.C. chapter is seeking partnerships for the Southern California pilot program

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: November 10, 2011 10:05 AM

The Orange County chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council has undertaken one of the first Green Schools projects in Southern California. The proposition to retrofit an existing school classroom seeks to produce a blueprint for other schools to follow in creating healthier, greener practices and learning environments for future generations of students.

The project is slated to take place at Davis Magnet School in Costa Mesa, part of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. The Chapter will retrofit and monitor a classroom at the school, surveying students and teachers before and after the retrofit. The classes will be an integral part of the program and will participate in the project as they observe and measure the results.

The goal of the project is not only to improve the health of the students and teachers, reduce negative environmental impacts, and reduce operating expenses through the retrofit by implementing more efficient processes; it will also to educate students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community at large about the value of sustainable teaching, living and working environments.

The project will be supported entirely by in-kind and monetary donations and volunteered time by USGBC members from a number of Orange County businesses, including Disney, IMA+Design, LPA Inc., HMC Architects, Brookside Builder Services and Studio SA, among others.

“The success of this project is dependent upon all of us working together” said Chapter Vice Chair Lindsey Engels.

The chapter is seeking additional partners to support the Green Schools project.

“We are looking for [the community’s] help and support so that this vision becomes a reality for future generations as an interactive learning experience and an exemplary model of social, economic and environmental stewardship,” said Sue Ewing, fundraising co-chair.

A nonprofit organization, the Orange County chapter of the USGBC promotes the integration of constructed and natural environments to foster more sustainable and healthy living and working spaces and communities. Chapter membership includes builders, architects, contractors, facility managers, manufacturers and landscape architects, all of whom work to promote sustainable construction and business practices in their respective fields.

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