Schools slow to go green

Few of the new Oregon schools approved by voters are built to national green standards.

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27 new schools were approved by Oregon voters in 2006, but only about one in four have been built or are being built to match the national green standards. Cost is the main issue, but some schools are being built sustainably without having to meet the expensive national standards.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is widely known as the industry standard for green structures. Like a Nike swoosh, a LEED medallion on a school brings a level of recognition…

Districts that build to what some school officials call “LEED equivalent” don’t have the medallion or the cost because they can choose which standards to meet and there is no mandatory third-party assessment of the environmental work.

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