Sustainable Schools Garner Attention from Colorado Legislature

schoolAs building enclosure experts, how could we not chime in on the proposed Senate Bill 13-279?

What is SB 13-279? Good question!

Senate Bill 13-279, if passed by Colorado Legislature, will require new school buildings and significant renovations to be “designed and constructed to the highest energy efficiency standards practicable”. Championing the bill is the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, with its “Where We Learn Matters” campaign.

The campaign highlights how high performance schools create healthier environments for Colorado kids to learn in and have been shown to reduce absenteeism, and improve focus and test scores. The campaign also educates on how reductions in energy and water use also help conserve resources and improve air quality, which is particularly significant during periods of drought as we are experiencing today.

Want to learn more about the bill or ways to help pass SB 13-279?

  • Contact your State Senator TODAY and encourage them to vote yes on SB 13-279!
  • You can find your elected official’s contact information on the Project Vote Smart website.
  • Forward this email to your networks and encourage them to contact their senators!

Whether the bill passes or not, it’s hard to not pay attention to the growing trend of “greening” school buildings across the U.S. Through our own building performance testing, we have quantifiable proofs to support the significant energy cost savings that can be realized with the implementation of retrofits in existing buildings or alternative design considerations in new construction.
Moreover, green schools conscientiously demonstrate environmental responsibility through improved energy efficiency and utilizing materials and assemblies that are eco-friendly. Reductions in energy consumption can be gained in various ways, including reducing uncontrolled air leakage through the building enclosure, increasing thermal performance of exterior walls and roofs, and utilizing HVAC systems with improved technologies. Eco-friendly materials and assemblies are generally made from recycled materials or through manufacturing processes that have significantly less of a carbon footprint than conventional products. In addition, these products are generally locally sourced, which limits the carbon emissions related to transport.

While the initial investment for a green school is generally greater than that of a conventionally designed and constructed school, the long-term cost impacts through energy savings are significant.

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To read the legislation, visit the Colorado General Assembly’s website.

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