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Green Building

The materials that make up our homes, schools, and other buildings we occupy often contain harmful chemicals that can impact our health.  During their manufacture, use, and at the end of their lifecycle, many commonly used building materials can evaporate, leach, or otherwise emit toxins into our indoor and outdoor environments.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) rating system which is designed for delivering economically profitable, environmentally responsible, healthy, productive places to live and work. USGBC is currently designing a school-specific LEED rating system.

Healthy Building Network works with environmental and advocacy groups to focus on ways in which careful selection of building materials can reduce environmental health threats of toxic chemical emissions.

Collaborative for High Performance Schools, CHPS aims to increase the energy efficiency of schools in California by marketing information, services, and incentive programs directly to school districts and designers. The Collaborative’s goal is to facilitate the design of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities needed for a quality education.  While a California-based program, CHPS now has specific programs in 13 states nationwide.