The US public schools redesigning buildings with climate in mind
American schools are the second-largest public infrastructure investment. But what most people don’t know is that they are also among the biggest energy consumers in the public sector. K-12 schools consume about 8% of all the energy used in commercial buildings. In turn, they emit as much carbon dioxide as 18 coal-powered power plants. This not only burdens the environment, but children themselves – students suffer from heatstroke, affected hormone and sleep cycles, as well as respiratory issues. Many schools have started redesigning their infrastructure with the climate crisis in mind. From installing more solar panels to replacing old heating, cooling and ventilation systems, or HVAC systems, with more sustainable ones, school districts are increasingly transitioning to cheaper and greener options. But old building habits and funding constraints can pose a challenge.