Rachel R. Belew
PR + Communications Manager
High Performance, Healthy Classroom Design Promotes Student Health in GA Schools
Classroom prototype features GREENGUARD Certified low-emitting products
(Atlanta, GA)— The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute—in collaboration with architecture firm Perkins+Will, the Georgia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Choate Construction, JE Dunn Construction, the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), and the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA)—unveiled last week a life-size model classroom whose revolutionary high-performance design is intended to promote student health and wellness.
The High Performance Healthy Classroom, displayed for the first time at the GSBA/GSSA’s Annual Conference in Cobb County, Ga., boasted a variety of environmentally-preferable design features, including GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified desks, flooring, insulation, and casework.
“As architects, we want to provide not only innovative design solutions, but also a healthier indoor environment,” says Shannon Goodman of Perkins+Will, one of the designers of the classroom. “We know GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified products can help improve a classroom’s indoor air quality and reduce students’ and teachers’ risk of chemical exposure. That’s why we chose to incorporate GREENGUARD Certified products into the High Performance Healthy Classroom.”
GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified products are independently, scientifically tested and verified to meet some of the most stringent chemical emissions standards in the world. With strict emission limits on over 360 chemicals, as well as a cap on the combined emissions of all chemicals, products certified to the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Standard help mitigate the risk of compromised indoor air quality, thus reducing exposure to airborne toxins.
Among the GREENGUARD Certified low-emitting products featured in the classroom were KI desks and chairs, Nora rubber modular flooring, Owens Corning insulation, and Fleetwood casework.
"In addition to providing school systems with much needed operational savings due to the inclusion of high-efficiency lighting and controls, a high performance, healthy classroom is a place where students can see clearly, hear easily, breathe safely, touch without harm, and learn better,” says Leesa Carter, executive director of the USGBC-Georgia Chapter. “It just makes sense that GREENGUARD Certified products were among the products used to construct and furnish this healthy classroom.”
Other classroom design highlights included:
- Access to natural daylighting to improve student performance and reduce lighting loads
- High-efficiency, dimmable, LED lighting technology to reduce energy costs
- Raised flooring with underfloor air distribution to reduce germ spread and provide more thermal comfort
The High Performance Healthy Classroom prototype is intended to inspire and educate Georgia teachers, school administrators, parents, lawmakers, and others about the benefits of learning in a more healthful indoor environment. To view photos of the display—including photos of the official ribbon cutting with Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and GREENGUARD founder, Dr. Marilyn Black—visit the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s blog, Certifiably Green, at www.CertifiablyGreenBlog.com.
About the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, part of the UL Global Network, aims to protect human health and enhance quality of life by improving indoor air quality and reducing chemical exposure. As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and serves as a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.