This Issue

ecosystems Tag

Growing Up Net Zero

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="16703" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Rachel Kaufman Hood River Middle School’s net-zero music and science building is growing the engineers of the future.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]f children are the future and conservation starts with them, then it follows that green schools are the future and conservation begins there. Welcome to Hood River, Oregon, where the Hood River Middle School’s new science and music addition, a LEED Platinum building, recently marked another milestone: its third year running as a net-zero building, meaning it produces all the energy it needs on site. The 6,900-square-foot building is a showcase as to what’s possible when you think to the future. Hood River Middle School’s main building is 89 years old, and the former music area was a sagging bus barn from the 1940s. When the school board approved $25 million to upgrade school buildings across the district, though, the addition wasn’t on anyone’s minds. “We were doing projects at nine different schools and [the board] decided they wanted one project to be LEED-certified,” says architect Alec Holser of Opsis Architecture. But a science teacher, Michael Becker, who’s been at Hood River MS for 10 years, came...

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Site Specific

A certified sustainable site, American University’s School of International Service manifests the school’s values.

Admissions offices cruised at a comfortable altitude as college enrollment boomed through the early 2000s. But in the face of decelerating college-age population growth, constricting budgets, and competition from online programs, today’s traditional, four-year institutions are scrambling to find novel ways of attracting high-caliber students. Those that are offering sustainable learning environments are catching the eyes of prospective freshmen; in fact, 62 percent of college applicants in a 2013 Princeton Review survey indicated that a school’s commitment to the environment would impact application and enrollment decisions.

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