Green School Primer [Giveaway]

LPA-Green-School-Primer

We have three copies of this book, which we will give away to three random commenters at the end of Friday, September 25, 2009.*

What kind of school did you grow up learning in?  During those formative years, did you have the opportunity to learn in a sustainable and architecturally significant environment?  Think back to those days when your mind wandered.  Would you ponder the exposed woodwork?  Or the expansive windows?  Or the structural steel?  Like many students, maybe you didn't have the opportunity to learn in a green school or anything of the sort, and that's where the Green School Primer comes in.  The Green School Primer is a new book that's been written to educate anyone — whether a board member, teacher, student, or parent –  about the benefits of green schools.

In the Green School Primer, LPA Architects shares its many years of experience with designing green schools.  LPA explains its own planning and design principles and strategies, the benefits of green schools, and the truth about the costs associated with green schools.  And they're not just advocating for the construction of new schools.  LPA talks about green modernizations on existing educational buildings, too. 

Here's what else you can expect in the Green School Primer:

Ch. 1: A Green School Primer
Ch. 2: The Truth About Green School Costs
Ch. 3: Green School Rating Programs
Ch. 4: Green School Design Principles and Strategies
Ch. 5: Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Ch. 6: Beverly Hills HS Science and Technology Center
Ch. 7: Hector Godinez Fundamental High School
Ch. 8: Marco Antonio Firebaugh High School
Ch. 9: Environmental Nature Center
Ch. 10: Green Modernization and Expansion of Existing Schools
Ch. 11: Green Modernization and Expansion School Projects
Ch. 12: Green School Trends

LPA has designed or modernized more green schools in California than any other California firm, so they're coming from a position of experience when it comes sustainable schools.  This primer is a good place to get started and it's full of magazine-like imagery.  If you don't win one of the three we're giving away here, you can grab a copy on Amazon.  

*If you're interested in winning a copy of this book, drop a comment by midnight MST on Friday, September 25, 2009.  We're giving away three copies.  Say where you're from if you don't know what to say.  By leaving a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions relating to giveaways on Jetson Green.


  • Anonymous

    My grade school was probably built in the 60′s located in a middle class suburb and served the population within a square mile radius. Our classrooms had windows that looked out into the schoolyard. Ironically I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately since I work in commercial real estate and have an exciting opportunity to help a public school find a new home. The building will not just house the students but will be an extension of the school’s core values to educate students on environmental sustainability. The school provides organic breakfast and lunch, uses solar panels, recycles, composts, green cleaning and organic garden all of which are an integral part of the education for its students. Where is this amazing school you ask? California? Oregon? No. It’s in the Southwest side of Chicago. For those who want to read more about this amazing school their webiste is http://www.agcchicago.org

  • Anonymous

    schools in NJ could use some help like this

  • Anonymous

    My 16 yr. old daughter is planning her Girl Scout Gold Award Project (top one you can earn) to enhance recycling programs and green awareness at her old elementary school (grades K-8) north or Pittsburgh, PA. The school was constructed in the ’20s (I believe). This book could be of tremendous help to her!

  • http://victorianleed.blogspot.com/ Daniel

    My elementary school building was an “open school,” set up as one enormous volume with a few offices and specialty rooms walled off. It was built a few years before I started there, replacing a gorgeous 1920′s structure that was torn down as too “energy inefficient.” By the time I got in, they were putting up walls and partitioning. It was also built for a dime – most of the structure also served as interior finishes, the roofs leaked, and win whistled in through the windows. As someone who designs schools now, I couldn’t have asked for a better example (and not all bad) of a building that embodied the cultural, architectural, and educational values of the time.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who does research on the effects of the new generation of green schools, I can say that LPA and its school projects, Cesar Chavez Elementary in particular, are a great example of how to work within the tricky world of public schools and still come out with a great building that used some innovative funding and design approaches. A great addition to anyone’s shelf that works with schools. I wouldn’t mind having a copy myself ;)

  • Anonymous

    Shamlessly commenting to get in on “free.”

  • Anonymous

    WOW!… That was a long time ago, longer than I really care to remember. I went to a number of different schools. From PA to IL and back to PA to finish up. One thing that all the schools had in common was big windows that opened, and high ceilings, at least in the older sections of the schools before the remodeling started. At that point windows got smaller, higher and didn’t open anymore, thus forcing the running of mechanical systems in order to have any air exchange at all. Why were those ceiling so high, there wasn’t anything up there except the lights hanging down? During high school I took drafting as a shop elective three years as I’ve always been interested in buildings and the way they relate to people. One of our projects was to design a home, mine couldn’t have been larger than 1500 sf. A nice simple 1 1/2 story home that used the available space as best I knew how to… no long hallways or rooms cut off from the rest of the home. I wish I still had a copy of those drawings.

  • Anonymous

    If you haven’t had a chance to visit a green school, take a moment and plan a trip. They are some of the most interesting buildings. I love how so many of them actively try to integrate learning and the environment which the children spend so much of their time in.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Rhurley, congrats you’re one of the winners in this giveaway. I’ll email you separately to get your address for shipping the book.

  • Anonymous

    I went through my entire education in rather boring and uninspiring school buildings. Now that I’ve graduated from Architecture school, I love seeing what others have done to help inspire kids with the built form, not just the textbook material.

  • Anonymous

    I went to school in two cinder block buildings with no A/C south of New Orleans, LA. The gym was situated on an old plantation house site with enormous old live oak trees growing around it. The site was next to the levee and in the spring you could stand on top and see that Mississippi River running several feet higher than our school buildings.

    For cooling we opened the windows and had a cross breeze. Parents sent box fans to put in the rooms to help move air. Your paper still stuck to your arm if you touched it, so you learned to write with your hand / arm not touching your work.

    It was hot, but we survived and I’m sure the utility bills were pretty modest for the school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Portegies-Zwart/7803357 Michael Portegies-Zwart

    I remember hearing about a middle school in Minneapolis that had no windows at all, better for learning or something. guess it didn’t catch on (thank God).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ethan-Levine/574335121 Ethan Levine

    Here’s to hoping the green school movement can not only enrich the educational experience for kids, but help bring awareness to the many school boards responsible for planning and allocating funds for these projects. Lets hope we never have to see another Reverview Highschool fall pray to apathy and status the status quo.

  • http://www.huttonarch.com/ mpauls

    When I was in grade school in CA I distinctly remember the very cool outdoor spaces we had. The school itself had windows to the outdoors – but I recall chatting with best friend and annoying the teacher more than I recall looking out the windows or paying any attention to the indoor spaces. However, I am now in architecture and our firm’s focus is green schools in Colorado. I volunteer my time with the USGBC and we are passionate about providing current and useful green school how to data to decision makers, design professionals, and contractors. The outline of this books looks right on target. Looks like a great resource! Thanks for getting it out into the world.

  • Anonymous

    I’m old enough to have seen school design trends come and go, and it’s great to see the direction we’re headed now. After a generation of school campuses that could as well have been prisons – all caged in and with few windows – daylight is finally finding it’s way back into the classroom. I’m working on a design now for a new charter school campus, and the conversation keeps coming back to sustainability. Hooray, it’s true, our clients are demanding green buildings!

  • Anonymous

    WANT! my grade school was made of corrugated metal. Far from inspiring for kids. It’s time we give the kids something that motivates all the while providing a green environment and shelter from the elements. Would love this book..

  • http://blog.lpainc.com/ Rochelle Veturis

    As timing would have it, the author of the Primer was recently on CNN Headline News: http://bit.ly/cnngreenschools

    Enjoy,
    Rochelle Veturis
    LPA Inc.

  • http://www.scalehousedesign.com/ Chuck

    I used to ride the bus to elem school, and I was only 1 block away.

  • Anonymous

    This book sounds fascinating! I am on the board for an environmental charter school in my city. This book would be a wonderful resource.

  • Anonymous

    Early 80s modern sort of school with ribbon windows, that were easily the best feature. Spent many a day gazing out those windows dreaming away the world…

  • Anonymous

    I was impressed with the design of the buildings. Great Job LPA!

  • Anonymous

    Yee!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m working on designing a green school that you can actually see the workings of what makes it sustainable, and therefore exposing the science behind what makes it green.

  • Anonymous

    I learned in the typical brick box … a little hot in the summer, cool in the winter … with realtively current books and movies that inspired the awe for the natural world around us. My kids attended a very recently built “mega-school.” What was gained in architectural design, was lost in scale.
    I would argue that the appropriateness of any learning environment is comprised in equal measure of scale, form, and function. We should be inspired by our surroundings, by our teachers, and by the applicability of subject matter.
    While sustainable form may be an integral part of the equation, it cannot compensate for lack of any one of the remaining parts. We make progress where we can.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a great book, will probably get a copy one way or another.

  • Anonymous

    My elementary school and high school in NJ contained asbestos behind most of the students’ lockers. If you want to talk about energy waste, the stairwells were heated to 85 deg, while the classrooms were set to 75 deg. It was often so warm inside that most classrooms had to open the windows.

  • http://www.nodebtplan.net/ No Debt Plan

    Would be glad to have a read of this book… definitely interested in learning more.

  • http://twitter.com/zenofzne David Williams

    We’ve also had success with “green schools,” our Two Harbors HS was an ASHRAE Technology Award Honorable mention, built for 20% less than average cost, operating at an Energy Star rating of 81, with displacement ventilation and radient floors (all in a 10,000 HDD climate)

  • Krista

    This looks like it would be a good book.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a great book!

  • Anonymous

    I serve on the board of directors of a community school in Tucson, Arizona that has a rich history of parent involvement and searching for new approaches to sustainability. The School began in the 40′s, with the major building being constructed in the 60′s. The campus was retrofitted with rain collection cisterns and has several gardens, one for each class year. We are in the process of discussing how the school should move forward and yet preserve its character and identity. This book sounds like the very thing we need to move forward in our planning.

  • Anonymous

    I would love to see this kind of green thinking get a real foothold in global human consciousness.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Happywren, congrats you’re one of the winners in this giveaway. I’ll email you separately to get your address for shipping the book.

  • Anonymous

    My High School was built in the 1910s. Two stories, golden brown brick and expansive glass all in a classic style. Of course for the last 90 some years it has been the most beautiful building in town.

  • Anonymous

    “Live within your means”; this applies to energy as well as money. With Green Schools appearing across the US, we may raise a new generation of Conservatives…:)

  • Anonymous

    LOL! That’s wonderful, please mail to 475 Ramblewood Drive #200, Coral Springs, FL 33071. The book will be recycled throughout my office, once I’m done reading it.
    Thanks,
    Aeron Knutson

  • Anonymous

    will i be able to wait until friday. This book sounds interesting.

  • Mark Lambert

    We’re designing an eco-home to construct on-site at our Tech school (90+ years old) and are attempting to involve all the departments – it’s amazing how pervasive green thinking is, or at least, can be!

  • Anonymous

    Grew up learning in Fairfax County, Virginia’s oldest school building Woodlawn Elementary in the early 70′s. Classic brick and block design with great big windows. My wife recently taught there but had to leave due to the known mold problem. The County, and more importantly the school kids today, could most benefit from a more modern building incorporating design elements found with the Green School Primer text.

  • Anonymous

    I went to a one-story brick, cir 1950, H-shaped school on a hill in Kansas. Actually it was two buildings, down the hill was a second building that housed K-1. About the only thing green about the building was that there was lots of daylight and view (although nothing much to look at). You couldn’t have pondered the woodwork , if there was an, because of all the papers fastened to the walls.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Davidclaflin, congrats you’re one of the winners in this giveaway. I’ll email you separately to get your address for shipping the book.

  • https://blogs.middlebury.edu/archabroad bente

    @ michael p-z: perhaps this wasn’t my school, since there were many in minneapolis with a significant building boom in the early ’60s, but it could have been since in my four years of high school i only got the chance to have class in a windowed classroom once. made me love biology more than i might have. the idea was that it would help kids concentrate to have them in a bare, windowless prison/room. luckily they did some major renovations, after i graduated of course.

    after moving on to a college with a beautiful campus and exceptional facilties, i’ve realized how terrible it all really was. currently i’m completing a joint major in architecture and environmental studies and am ever interested in the infinite interpretations of ‘environmental architecture’. love the blog btw

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to the laws of nature, it’s never too late to go green. I want to make my school green, thus I would be honored to trade one of my green books in exchange for your green school primer book. Today, media green-washers burden consumers with all the doom and gloom cash-crisis banter, why? (-attention=$) . On the the sunnier side of the subject, I plan to help everyone meet basic human needs, starting with clean water & education, with an emphasis on GREEN ROOFS! My school will be uber green and i’ll invite you and all the other commentators to join me for a lovely picnic on the roof when it’s ready. 2010 will mark the beginning of an environmental justice movement, and the changes in lifestyles will refresh the history books – our grandchildren will be reading about us in classrooms situated on glittering rooftops. They will be accustomed to green roofs, where flowers, plants, and trees, meet the sun and glitter – they will wonder why anyone would kill a horse to make glue when glue is an unnecessary resource. Starting with enough water to saturate the first seeds and letting rain take the reins from there, nature will meet us halfway to meet consistent global sustainability. Soon enough, our generation’s green roofs, glittering worldwide, will symbolize the most important time in the history of planet earth. Green roofs combined with education will define the environmental justice movement leading to worldwide sustainability. By seizing the opportunity to adopt sustainable green-roof lifestyles, poverty & war will evaporate and abolish themselves in time. In effect, humanity will be happy & satisfied because collectively we will make our global interdependent economy actually work. People will be essentially happy. After all, the best things in life are green.

    peace, love, go naked, & stay green.

  • Anonymous

    PS-
    Educational Institutions and all schools should be green from pole to pole – what do you think?

  • Anonymous

    Green Schools are sweet! This book looks great.

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