A unique community development program underway in Phoenix is planning to expand into California in 2014, with projects planned in the San Francisco and San Diego areas. The Green Schoolhouse Series brings together manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors and sub-contractors, and the community to erect LEED platinum designed schools built entirely by volunteers.
The Green Schoolhouse Series was created by two organizations, Cause and Effect Evolutions and Brighten a Life, groups dedicated to improving schools in low income areas. They work with schools that are using outdated and inferior “portable” classrooms. The end goal is a building using sustainable energy that serves as a teaching tool and educates the community on the importance of sustainable living and building practices.
Manufacturers donate equipment for the project and volunteer to help architects and engineers design the plumbing and HVAC systems. The project gives industry suppliers an opportunity to showcase their latest technologies and achieve the LEED platinum certification for a building while providing a service to the community.
Jeff Zotara, senior partner at Cause and Effect Evolution points out the social and community value of the projects. “Each year more and more students are diagnosed with asthma and that means they are missing more days of school. The products donated to our schoolhouses provide fresh, clean air at comfortable temperatures and in an energy efficient manner.” HVAC contractors participating in the project not only highlight their business, they create a positive impact on their community.