Green Building Techniques in Colorado Schools

“Beyond just efficiency, we’re looking at overall health and wellness and the more global aspect of sustainability and well-being.”

More and more school districts in Colorado are embracing green building techniques.

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Cathy Bellem, the Chair of the Green Schools Summit Conference, which was recently held in Denver, says some school districts are doing complete overhauls while others are working with what they have to make them more efficient. Bellem says that schools are looking at environmental issues which affect the students as well.

Bellem says that these issues are considered in school construction, but they are also being examined when applied to learning environments in ways such as promoting walking or riding a bike to school, open areas for students to work besides at their desks and incorporating natural light in the classrooms.

Proposition BB recently passed, opening up approximately $40 million in funding for Colorado schools generated from cannabis sales tax revenue. According to Bellem, the Colorado Department of Education assessed the actual needs of schools to be $15 billion. Bellem says that along with the number of students in the state projected to rise drastically in the coming years, there is an urgent need for more efficient schools and, which she says will create its own future revenue

“There is a strong desire to incorporate sustainability and green building measures into every new project, and anytime you can build in efficiency and health and well-being for students, the dollars will go right back into the school district.”

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