SALEM, OR — While green buildings undoubtedly help tenants save on energy costs and are healthier for occupants, many school districts in the State of Oregon are hesitant to have their buildings third-party certified, according to The Oregonian.
According to the story, of the 27 new schools approved by Oregon voters in 2006, about one in four have been or will be built to national green standards.
Districts say the reason they have not pushed for all of their schools to carry certifications is because green is a nebulous term and they don''t need a certificate to prove their new schools were built to be sustainable, the story stated.
Districts that build to what some school officials call "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) equivalent" don''t have the certification medallion or the 3 percent construction cost increase because they can choose which standards to meet, the story noted.
School districts that don''t pursue LEED certification may skip certain holistic, Earth-friendly requirements and instead put the money into the building to enhance its energy efficiency or improve its comfort, the story added.
North Clackamas School District Assistant Superintendant Ron Stewart said: "There''s an expense to getting certified with LEED, so the district is building six schools to equivalent standards, instead. LEED is just a program of recognition. It provides information and guidance. Anyone can follow it without the certification."
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