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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/ 1/2008

School Colors: Turning Green

By Steve Scolnik

DC's Sidwell Friends School was featured this week on The Weather Channel's Forecast Earth program for being the first LEED Platinum certified K-12 school building in the world. Although there are now three more such schools, Sidwell's Middle School is still the only Platinum level building in the District of Columbia. The new building reduces energy consumption by 60% and municipal water consumption by 93%. The use of energy for lighting in particular is only 10-15% as much as that of a comparable building. Energy saving features include:

  • a green roof covered with soil and plants
  • solar panels providing 5% of the electricity use
  • low-e windows which allow visible light but deflect heat
  • extensive use of natural lighting
  • "solar chimneys," which use convection to promote air circulation and reduce the need for air conditioning

Design for the building was by Kieran Timberlake Associates of Philadelphia.

Also locally, Kermit the Frog's alma mater, University of Maryland, has exchanged the red, black, and gold for the green of Recyclemania 2008. The 10-week nationwide competition with 400 other schools runs until April 5. Participating institutions are competing to see who can do the most to recycle and reduce waste.

As of the second week of competition, UMD's 21.2% recycling rate was 49th out of 76 in that category overall and fourth out of four in the ACC; UNC was in first place in the conference with 46.8%. During the course of the event, patrols will be roaming the campus looking for people engaged in recycling activities. Anyone who is caught greenhanded will be given a ticket for a prize drawing.

By Steve Scolnik  | March 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Education, Environment  
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