Ohio? No disrespect toward the Buckeye State intended, but when it comes to a compiling of green school in the nation – schools with LEED registered and certified projects – you’d have to guess California to be the likely winner, based on sheer size alone. But no, according to the just released Best Green Schools list from the U.S. Green Building Council‘s Center for Green Schools, Ohio is No. 1.
The center looked at schools from the K-12 level all the way up to institutions of higher education that were recognized for sustainable, cost-cutting measures. These measures include everything from energy conservation, to record numbers of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings, to green policy initiatives.
Ohio led with 315 LEED registered and certified projects, including 19 schools registered in 2011. The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, was recognized as the winning city for green schools. The School District of Philadelphia made significant steps in 2011 toward the greening of the city’s 291 public schools. And the Sacramento region along with Mayor Kevin Johnson was recognized for creating a $100 million revolving loan fund for green school retrofits.
Green schools are said to save an average of $100,000 per year on operating costs. To put it in perspective, that amount is enough to hire two new teachers, buy 200 new computers, or purchase 5,000 textbooks. Green schools also use 33 percent less energy and 32 percent less water than conventionally constructed schools.
For a full list of recognized schools, visit the center’s website.