Special Report

Where Are the Greenest Schools in the Country?

The definition of being eco-conscious is so much more than having solar panels on a roof

Manassas Park Elementary School, Manassas, Virginia. Architect: VMDO Architects, PC. (© Sam Kittner)

Gloria Marshall Elementary SchoolSpring, Texas

Gloria Marshall Elementary School
(Luis Ayala)

Completed in 2011, Gloria Marshall Elementary School in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston, meets some of the highest standards in green building. One of its crowning achievements has to do with its lighting. Architects paid particular attention to the positioning of windows within the school in order to take full advantage of natural daylight. There are sensors to control the lights installed in each classroom. This way, the lights are raised only when needed, which, in the school’s experience, is about one quarter of the time. Architects also incorporated some playful features, like this slide, shown above. Teachers use the helix-shaped slide to describe DNA.


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