architecture · behavior · children · community · creativity · design · education · environment

Green learning and sustainable knowledge

Kids learn the best by what they see and experience, not just what they are told. What better way to teach about environmental and sustainable practices then by demonstrating that at school?! Two projects in the Pacific Northwest are combining creative alternative designs and technologies to create an ideal environment for learning and minimizing impact on the environment.

I always wanted to live in a tree house or a hobbit hole. But going to school in a “living building” would be a pretty close second. From KUOW:

LEED–certified buildings are meant to be environmentally friendly and highly energy efficient. But now, there is a new standard that goes well beyond that. It’s called the “living building” and there are only three of them in the world. In Seattle, one elementary school is building what could be the first living building in the state.

The kids got to offer ideas for the school, and with its grand opening last friday, will hopefully make a splash (it does have it’s own little stream, after all).

In a related project, a school in Poulsbo is putting in Washington State’s fifth largest solar array:

“Next month, Lander, 56, will flip the switch on his first full-size community solar project atop Poulsbo Middle School, the largest of its kind in Washington and the fifth-largest solar system in the state.”

I also love the fact that both of these projects are community-based, in that the kids got to provide input on the school, and the solar panels are also community-driven.