When considering green certification, many factors must be taken into account. Of course green cleaning will help organizations gain valuable points toward the certification, but there are many other factors that come into play. According to reports on Cincinnati.com, schools in Kentucky's Kenton County have joined the Green Building movement with the introduction of high-performance designs. Teachers, students, taxpayers and conservationists agree that the improved design is a smart investment from the school boards.

According to the article, school boards were aware that cheerful interior colors and plentiful natural light add to the whole mood at a school and may even help raise test scores. A 1999 California study found that students with the most daylight in their classroom advanced 20 percent faster on math tests and 26 percent faster on reading scores than those with the least daylight.

Research has shown that implementing green guidelines results in more sustainable buildings, a better educational environment for teachers and students, and the ability to stretch each taxpayers' dollar.

The information will also be used as a learning tool for the students. About 200 solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to power the science labs where students will be able to track the school's energy usage and other energy "vital statistics" for the building. A geothermal heating and cooling system is also expected to cut the school's energy consumption by at least 30 percent. Another system will harvest rainwater from the roof and recycle it through low-flow toilets and urinals.

Kenton County is home to Kentucky's first high-performance school building, but the introduction of the "green" design and its use as a teaching tool will make create the state's first school certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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