In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would share with you some ideas on how to “go green.” Some of you are thinking about using stimulus dollars for school modernization, renovations and repairs. You probably want to lower your maintenance and operating costs, especially in this tough economy. You want to be a good citizen and reduce your carbon footprint. Whatever your reason, “going green” can also improve student test scores, better teacher performance, reduce sick days, and provide a valuable and interesting new teaching tool.
The School of the Future in Philadelphia is a great case study for what is possible when you design and build a green school. We’ve just posted a paper – “Building Better Learning Environments with Green Building Design” – on our website where you can read more about how the school is environmentally-friendly, results gained, and tips for what you can do today to make your school more earth-friendly.
The School of the Future is a unique partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and Microsoft to create a sustainable and replicable model for improved instruction and systemic reform through the use of organizational best practices and innovations in curriculum, architecture, environmental and technology design. We are proud the school was one of the first to receive an official LEED Gold Certification award from the U.S. Green Building Council. Photovoltaic panels in the glass windows (see below) and roof are just one green design element. They reduce heating and cooling costs by converting sunlight into direct current, contributing a percentage of electricity for the building. The panels also serve as built-in curriculum as they transmit real-time data for students to see how much energy is being generated and the positive impact it has on the environment.
Of course, being a software company…we believe technology can also play a role in reducing energy consumption and operating costs, while helping the environmental footprint of our customers and help save them money too. See my earlier post on virtualization.
Here are some other good Microsoft green resources…
Microsoft and the Environment: http://www.microsoft.com/environment/
Software Enabled Earth Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/see/
Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy: overview
Top 10 Business Practices on Environmentally Sustainable Data Center: white paper
What is your school or institution doing to “go green”? What benefits do you see?