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      DESIGNING SUSTAINABLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: LOWERING ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN A K-12 FACILITY

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          Abstract

          The construction industry is embracing sustainable building practices that boost the “triple bottom line”, namely the building's ecological, social, and financial performance. Since more than 55 million US students spend a significant part of their day in K-12 schools, it is vital that these facilities should provide healthy, comfortable, and productive learning environments. Here we present an in-depth literature review of how educational facilities affect student school performance, comfort, and health, and we examine the role of sustainable design and construction strategies in influencing the physical learning environment in schools. Significant barriers to implementing sustainable strategies are examined, particularly the first cost premium of a sustainable building. A systematic decision strategy is described that incorporates sustainable design strategies, lowering energy consumption and improving indoor environments. A case study describes the process of incorporating sustainable strategies in a K-12 education facility in North Carolina to lower annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Ways to reduce the first cost premium and minimize operating costs over the facility's life while providing healthy and comfortable learning environments for students and teachers are discussed. The case study school also functions as an experimental learning tool for teaching sustainability to K-12 students, having the potential to improve their attitudes and behavior with respect to sustainability.

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          Most cited references 30

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          “Green Construction: Contractor Experiences, Expectations, and Perceptions.”

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            Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits

             G. Kats (2006)
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              The Development of Models to Indentify Relationships Between First Costs of Green Building Strategies and Technologies and Life Cycle Costs for Public Green Facilities

               Y.H. Ahn,  Y. Ahn,  Y J AHN (2010)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Fall 2011
                : 6
                : 4
                : 112-137
                Author notes

                1Ph.D., LEED AP, Assistant Professor, Construction Management, East Carolina University, Email: ahny@ 123456ecu.edu .

                2Ph.D, Instructor, Cheongju University, South Korea, Email: cyo5705@ 123456gmail.com . (Corresponding author.)

                3AIA & LEED AP, Vice President, Innovative Design, Inc., Raleigh, NC, Email: koh@ 123456innovativedesign.net .

                4Ph.D., LEED AP, Associate Professor, Myers Lawson School of Construction, Virginia Tech, Email: apearce@ 123456vt.edu .

                Article
                jgb.6.4.112
                10.3992/jgb.6.4.112
                ©2011 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.

                Volumes 1-7 of JOGB are open access and do not require permission for use, though proper citation should be given. To view the licenses, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                Page count
                Pages: 26
                Product
                Categories
                RESEARCH ARTICLES

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