The new criteria for green schools, recently updated by the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC), has an increased emphasis on indoor environmental quality, requires more natural light, better acoustics, low volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting materials and requires schools to have 10 hours of student curriculum per student per year, using the green aspects of the school as a teaching tool, the story stated.
The school, which is expected to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) certification when it is completed this summer, was budgeted for $12 million, but actual costs have been more than $700,000 less than expected, the story noted.
Sustainable aspects of the school include: A sediment pond to treat storm water runoff; trees to shade the school; skylights to let in natural light; motion detection sensors on all lights; and Energy Star
-rated appliances and equipment, the story added.
Rick Sain, construction coordinator for Catawba County Schools, said: "Right now, I''ve been told that we''re still scheduled to be the first green school in the State of North Carolina
. We''re a little bit behind schedule, but the school should be ready for the staff to start moving things in by the end of July. The chief reason for LEED certification is to save money on energy costs over time."