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Cover for Sustainable School Architecture

Sustainable School Architecture

Design for Elementary and Secondary Schools

Lisa Gelfand, Eric Corey Freed


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Get the comprehensive guide to the sustainable design of schools.

The elementary and secondary school buildings and campuses built today are the schools of the future. Sustainable School Architecture is a guide to the planning, architecture, and design of schools that are healthy, stimulating, and will conserve energy and resources. Written with the needs of architects, construction professionals, educators, and school administration in mind, the book provides a road map for sustainable planning, design, construction, and operations.

By its very nature, a school is often the centerpiece of its community and, therefore, well positioned to take the lead in influencing environmental awareness. Building on this point, Sustainable School Architecture shows how eco-friendly practices for school construction can create an environment that young students will emulate and carry into the world. Written by experts on sustainable school design, this book:

  • Focuses on the links between best sustainable practices and the specific needs of educational institutions.
  • Has nineteen international case studies of the best contemporary sustainable schools located in urban, suburban, and rural communities in temperate, tropical, and extreme climate zones.
  • Contains valuable information on the California Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) rating system.
  • Serves as a resource for incremental modernization and operation strategies as well as comprehensive transformation.
  • Offers tips on running an integrated, community-based design process with support information on the materials and systems of the sustainable school.
  • Includes contributions by experts on approaches to the sites, systems, maintenance, and operation of sustainable schools.

With a practical overview of how sustainability can be achieved in new and existing schools, and how to maintain this momentum in the years ahead, this important book provides architects with detailed guidance for designing healthier learning environments to help usher in a more promising future.

Wiley, 9780470445433, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 29, 2010

About the Author

Lisa Gelfand, AIA, LEED AP, one of the preeminent experts in green school design and construction, is managing principal of Gelfand Partners Architects ( in San Francisco. With more than three decades of experience, she has served on the technical committee of the California Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Her firm, which has designed many award-winning sustainable schools and has been the district architect for several school districts, has pioneered innovative ways to serve public and not-for-profit clients with practical and affordable sustainable architecture. Eric Corey Freed, LEED AP, the founding principal of organicARCHITECT ( based in San Francisco and Palm Springs, California, is a nationally known sustainability expert who is the author of Green Building and Remodeling for Dummies, published by Wiley.