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2 Schools Earn a Global Green ‘A+’

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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The “Greenest Schools on Earth” can now be found in China and Kenya, according to new honors conferred by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Sing Yin Secondary School in Hong Kong and Uaso Nyiro Primary School in Laikipia have each been awarded $5,000 as this year's winners of the Greenest School on Earth Contest, which is run by the council's Center for Green Schools.

The cash awards will support sustainability projects at the winning schools.

Sin Yin Secondary School
Kai Keene

Sing Yin Secondary in Hong Kong has thin-film solar panels, green roofs and other green building technologies.

The Greenest School contest normally has just one winner.

"But when we sat down to review this year’s submissions, we felt that we had two schools whose environmental efforts, though very different, were extraordinary in both execution and achievement,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president and CEO.

Contest descriptions of the schools follow.

Sing Yin Secondary School

Sing Yin, which largely serves low-income students, boasts an organic farm, two green roofs, a bamboo corner and an aquarium.

Most classrooms are equipped with thin-film solar panels or sun-shading devices, advanced LED lighting, light sensors, motion sensors, and other advanced building technologies.

Greenest School
Kai Keene

In addition to building technologies, about 100 students serve as environmental monitors and prefects.

The gadgets and materials are supported by people power: The school recruits about 100 students every year to serve as environmental monitors, prefects and ambassadors.

In addition, the school organized a "Green School, Green Family" community campaign last year in which students and families had to conduct energy-saving activities at home.

"The Sing Yin Secondary School aims to provide one of the best educations in the world with a global perspective for boys in our local community," school principal Kwok But said in a statement.

"We are pleased and excited that our efforts on promoting environmental education could be well recognized."

Uaso Nyiro Primary School

Uaso Nyiro’s unique Waterbank School Building, conceived and designed by PITCHAfrica and built in partnership with the Zeitz Foundation, is an alternative, low-cost school designed for poor regions in need of water.

Uaso Nyiro Primary School
PITCH Africa

Uaso Nyiro Primary in Kenya has a courtyard theater for school gatherings and environmental theater.

The school, built by local laborers with local materials for the same cost as a conventional school, stores and filters clean water for the children year round.

The school also provides protected gardens for growing fresh vegetables and includes a community workshop and courtyard theater for school community gatherings and environmental theater.

The school serves a disadvantaged community where 25 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day, USGBC said.

Since the school opened, attendance has risen from 70 percent to 90 percent, and instances of waterborne disease have dropped to zero, officials say.

Greenest School
PITCH Africa

Built at the same cost as a conventional school, Uaso Nyiro stores and filters clean water for pupils year round.

'It is a great honor for the Uaso Nyiro Primary School to receive this prestigious international recognition," said headmaster Patrick Mwaura.

"The staff, pupils, parents and surrounding community are delighted that our hard work and efforts to transform our school from an arid semi-desert into the oasis of greenery with water to spare have been recognized."

   

Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Building materials; Green building; Green design; Schools; Sustainability; U.S. Green Building Council

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