Survey Supports Green School Construction

PHILADELPHIA — Results from a new independent nationwide survey, announced during a press conference at the Greenbuild Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, revealed three out of four Americans are supportive of green schools. The survey, sponsored by Hartford, Conn.-headquartered United Technologies Corp. (UTC) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Center for Green Schools, researched Americans’ attitudes toward the country’s public school buildings and investments to modernize school infrastructure.
The survey results showed that 90 percent of Americans think it is important to improve public school buildings. More than half of Americans surveyed (54 percent) rated K-12 school buildings and infrastructure in the U.S. as poor or fair at best. More than half of those surveyed also feel that the U.S. does not spend enough money on buildings and infrastructure in K-12 schools. Almost half of respondents (49 percent) said they would donate to a green schools cause and 43 percent would volunteer time to green their own schools.
“The results of this nationwide survey are a call to action for elected officials and school leaders across the country,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in a statment. “Nine out of 10 Americans believe that it’s time for us to invest in transforming aging school facilities into 21st century learning environments. Regardless of political affiliation, Americans agree: where our children learn matters.”
The Center for Green Schools estimates that it will cost $271 billion to bring school buildings up to working order and comply with building codes. Additional steps taken to build schools that meet today’s education, safety and health standards would increase that estimated figure to $542 billion.
“Every day, 25 percent of Americans go to school as students, faculty, staff and administrators. Green schools improve learning, health and productivity, while lowering operating costs. There is measurable opportunity here to improve the day-to-day life for a quarter of Americans,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems, in a statement. “These results show a tremendous level of public support for school infrastructure improvements and the investment they will require.”
The independent survey of 500 Americans was conducted via telephone from Oct. 31, 2013 to Nov. 4, 2013 by David Binder Research.