Eleven Portland, Oregon-area school systems are pushing for the construction of 19 new buildings in the coming years. If they can provide the funding, most of the districts are considering erecting buildings that meet national environmental and energy efficiency standards. According to reports in The Oregonian, six Oregon schools already hold LEED certifications and school board official’s hope that they can continue the trend towards more environmentally friendly facilities.

To help achieve the certification requirements, schools are looking at avoiding wetlands, building near public transportation, conserving water, reducing energy use, increasing the amount of daylight that enters the building and providing clean indoor air. The janitorial staff has contributed to the cause by focusing on recycling, purchasing water-saving products such as waterless urinals and green certified cleaning products.

Reports confirm that the initial building of a green certified building might cost more than traditional structures, but LEED certified buildings will save substantial dollars over time. Power bills have shown savings of as much as 40 percent. The Oregon Department of Energy also offers grants and other incentives to help districts recoup additional costs of going green.

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