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Schools And Universities To Continue Investment In New & Retrofit Green Building At High Levels, According To New McGraw-Hill Construction Study

"At Lutron, we're committed to sustainable buildings," said Gerard Darville, director of the energy business unit. "This research shows that the market is looking for tangible benefits from their building improvement investments, and our suite of wireless control solutions, including lighting controls, sensors and automated shades, can be easily retrofitted into any school or building, offering energy savings and enhanced comfort in the space. These wireless control solutions also make the spaces more versatile and allow for easy reconfiguration without disruption to the students," said Darville.

In addition, 81 percent of the respondents for the K-12 sector report doing at least some new green projects over the last three years, and 84 percent report doing green renovations.

"The findings captured in the study provide a roadmap to the Center and our partners for accelerating our movement to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn in a safe, healthy and efficient place," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. "If we are going to chip away at the $400 billion deferred maintenance bill for U.S. schools and universities, we have to understand with absolute clarity what the challenges school administrators and designers face, as well as the opportunities before them." 

The need for better measures, more consistently applied, to gauge the impact of green building in the future was also unveiled in the study. Over 40 percent of both the K-12 and higher education respondents do not know the longer-term impact of their build improvements.

"We have seen this same trend in the industry: the challenge of being able to quantify the real benefits of sustainable practices in terms that matter most to schools, which is why we have been so focused on modeling and proving those benefits as essential ingredients for superior student and staff performance," said Marijke A. Smit, vice president, Strategic Partnerships at Project Frog. "Through our component building systems, we can provide replicable and measurable results of the benefits of sustainability as a powerful driver of better, healthier, learning environments that are more cost effective to operate and show added benefits to schools by increasing student attendance and performance."

The study was produced with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools, Lutron, Project Frog and Siemens. Survey and data partners included the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, The American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors of America, Green Schools National Network, National Association of Independent Schools, Society for Colleges and University Planning, and Second Nature.

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