With help from its building partners, The Green Schoolhouse Series is charting the course for building healthy, sustainable schools for the 21st century
East Longmeadow, MA – April 18, 2012 – It all started as a well-intentioned temporary fix. Driven by an unprecedented student population boom between 1950 and 2000, school districts erected thousands of portable classrooms. Today, there are still more than 300,000 trailer-like portables in use at K-12 schools across the nation; and although intended as an interim solution, many have now been in place for 30 to 40 years. They are operating well beyond their expected lifespan, and as a result of mold, poor ventilation and other hazards, they are unsafe and hinder students’ ability to learn. According to the National Education Association, an alarming 25 percent of temporary classrooms are substandard or dangerous and low-income children suffer disproportionately. Indoor air quality is a particularly important concern, as evidenced by the fact that, each year, American children miss more than ten million school days due to asthma and other respiratory ailments related to poor indoor air quality.
Bringing together entire communities, school districts, corporations, and volunteers, The Green Schoolhouse Series (GSHS) is the first program of its kind to build sustainable, LEED/CHPS Certified schoolhouses in a manner similar to Extreme Home Makeover and Habitat for Humanity. Groundbreaking for the inaugural Green Schoolhouse, The Safari, at Roadrunner Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, commenced in early fall 2011. The school is expected to be complete by summer 2012.
As flagship building partners in The Green Schoolhouse Series, Sloan Valve Company and Excel Dryer, Inc. have teamed up to ensure that each new schoolhouse features the latest in green, hygienic restroom design. All too often school restrooms are synonymous with odors and poor sanitary conditions that can contribute to the spread of germs and illness. Over the last ten years, manufacturers have come to market with an array of innovative, hands-free hand dryers, toilets, urinals, sinks, and soap dispensers that help improve restroom hygiene and student safety. In addition to promoting cleaner restrooms, these products also meet rigorous LEED standards through reduced water consumption, energy use and waste.
Designing Restrooms with Sustainability and Safety in Mind
Architects for the Green Schoolhouse Series selected the high-efficiency products featured in Next Generation Green Restroom Design, a new CEU course created by Sloan Valve and Excel Dryer. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council’s new virtual tour, the course provides an overview of the newest technologies in high-efficiency plumbing products and fixtures for sustainable restroom design. The course demonstrates the practical, economical and environmental benefits of high‑speed, energy-efficient hand dryers, water use and trends, and how to choose water-saving products. It clearly explains how these products contribute to new best-practice green building.
By specifying the high-efficiency restroom fixtures illustrated in the course, each Green Schoolhouse will reduce restroom water usage by up to 50%, cost and maintenance by more than 90% and reduce the carbon footprint of hand drying by up to 70%.
“Not only will the students benefit from learning in a healthier classroom setting, the Green Schoolhouses will also serve as integral, hands-on teaching tools,” explained Marshall G. Zotara, Founder and Senior Managing Partner of CAUSE AND EFFECT Evolutions, a cause development firm spearheading the program.
Going forward, the new Green Schoolhouse schools’ sustainable attributes also include solar energy, day lighting, enhanced acoustics, energy-efficient HVAC systems, earth-friendly wall systems and flooring, zero-VOC paints, drought-tolerant landscaping, motion detectors, and energy management systems, incorporated to create to a green educational learning environment. The sustainable design, products and components are expected to help achieve net-zero energy, resulting in no additional electricity costs being incurred because of the new, additional facilities.
Each school will take an estimated 30-45 days to complete and will be built solely by volunteers led by professional contractors, tradesman and technicians.
XLERATOR high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers help school facilities become high performance, green buildings. Unlike conventional hand dryers, XLERATOR completely dries hands 3 times faster (in 10 seconds) and uses 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. XLERATOR also delivers a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels, eliminates maintenance and waste, while creating a more hygienic restroom environment.
A recently completed Life Cycle Assessment Study (LCA), per ISO 14040 standards, determined that XLERATOR reduces the hand drying carbon footprint up to 70% vs. conventional dryers and even 100% recycled paper towels. XLERATOR hand dryer represents a major cost savings, is an excellent source reduction alternative and helps qualify for a multiple LEED credits in the 2009 Rating System. With payback of less than a year, XLERATOR is also a perfect retrofit option for older school facilities. Manufactured by Excel Dryer, Inc., headquartered in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, XLERATOR is the only hand dryer that is MADE IN USA Certified®.
About Sloan Valve Company
Sloan Valve Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems and has been in operation since 1906. Headquartered in Franklin Park, Illinois, the company is at the forefront of the green building movement and provides sustainable restroom solutions by manufacturing water- and energy-efficient products such as flushometers, electronic faucets, soap dispensers, and vitreous china fixtures for commercial, industrial and institutional markets worldwide.