Please note that the Topic Hubs developed by this Center have been archived and are no longer being updated. GLRPPR has converted several of its Topic Hubs to LibGuides, which allow for integration of some social features.
View the converted hubs, as well as other LibGuides related to pollution prevention and sustainability, in the University of Illinois' LibGuides Community.
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Alphabetical Listing of Reference Documents by Title
NOTE: [PDF] links require Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
Alliance to Save Energy: Saving Energy in Schools
Abstract: This portion of the Alliance to Save Energy web site includes best practices for controlling energy costs for school operations and maintenance; school energy efficiency links; energy efficient school construction resources; indoor air quality information; information on school retrofits; and pollution calculators that allow for the estimation of the environmental benefits of an energy efficiency measure.
Source: Alliance to Save Energy
Building Minds, Minding Buildings [PDF]
Abstract: Rodent and roach infestation, mice droppings, mold that has caused mushrooms to grow, asbestos, extreme heat or cold in classrooms, severe overcrowding, and nonfunctional bathrooms are just some examples of the appalling physical conditions found in thousands of our nation's public schools, a American Federation of Teachers (AFT) report revealed. These conditions are adversely affecting millions of students and school staff -- and potentially every student and school employee who walks through the doors of our public schools. The research is unequivocal: Poor building conditions are a serious threat to the health and academic performance of students. Achievement is significantly lower in schools with poor conditions, studies show. Likewise, asthma induced by mold and other indoor air quality problems is an increasingly prevalent school health issue and a major contributor to student and staff absenteeism. Things don't have to be this way. Schools can be modernized or built from scratch using proven, cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions. Many schools already are meeting these high standards, serving as models to others. The AFT believes that healthy, well-maintained schools that are conducive to learning cannot be reserved for select communities; they must be part of the academic agenda for every American student. This 28-page PDF contains an introduction, the problem, the consequences, the elements, recommendations and a conclusion.
Source: American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools For Schools
Abstract: Twenty percent of the U.S. population spends their days in elementary and secondary schools. And while most parents and teachers would probably accuse schools of being germ factories, that persistent cough and sniffles may not be the result of the latest bug going around. Studies show that half of our nation's 115,000 schools have problems linked to air quality. To help combat indoor air quality problems, EPA has created the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Kit. Printed materials included in the kit are available for download from this web site in html or pdf format. Ordering information for the video portion of the kit is included.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Green Schools Checklist: Environmental Actions for Schools to Consider [PDF]
Abstract: This checklist offers tips and resources to help schools identify opportunities to "green" their buildings and operations, ranging from the solid waste they generate, to the indoor environment they provide, to the energy and supplies they consume. Emphasis has been placed on prevention-oriented strategies, which are preferable to dealings with wastes and pollutants after the fact. The benefits of a green school program are outlined and management strategies are included. Sections include: energy use, indoor air quality, solid waste, hazardous materials, mercury use, laboratory waste, mold growth, water consumption, building construction/renovation, purchasing, pest management, groundskeeping, and food service. (PDF Format; Length: 24 pages)
Source: IL Environmental Protection Agency
Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT)
Abstract: EPA has developed a unique software tool to help school districts evaluate and manage their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. [Note: EPA is using the term "district" to broadly describe any institutional system for managing multiple schools, whether they are public, private, tribal, charter or some variation.] The Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEATv2) is designed to be customized and used by district-level staff to conduct completely voluntary self-assessments of their school (and other) facilities and to track and manage information on environmental conditions school by school. In addition to powerful software that can be used by districts to track any facility issues it chooses, EPA has also included critical elements of all of its regulatory and voluntary programs for schools, as well as web links to more detailed information. Districts and others can download HealthySEATv2 at no cost from the EPA web site. HealthySEATv2 is meant to be loaded and used on district computers; once it is downloaded from the EPA web site, HealthySEATv2 is yours to customize and use as you see fit. There are no reporting requirements and no obligation to use the checklist EPA has provided.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
High Performance Schools
Abstract: US EPA's Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools defines High Performance Schools, explains the benefits and characteristics of high performance schools as well as financing these schools. The tools address design phases, controlling pollutants and sources as well as construction, commissioning, renovation and much more.
Source: US EPA's IAQ Design Tools for Schools
NRDC's Greening Advisor
Abstract: A guide designed to help any commercial business or organization reduce its environmental impacts. The principles outlined in the guide can help green commercial business operations and may even cut costs by showing how your business can produce less waste, consume less paper and energy, and use resources more efficiently. Topics include: Why Be Green?; Principles and Policies; Air Quality; Construction/Renovations /Interiors; Energy; Paper; Purchasing; Transportation + Accommodation; Waste Management; Water Quality; and Water Use.
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
NY-CHPS High Performance Schools Guidelines
Abstract: The State Education Department (SED) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) created these guidelines, known as the "Collaborative for High Performance Schools" (NY-CHPS), to encourage the use of energy efficient design when building and renovating schools. NY-CHPS will help schools develop and maintain learning environments that contribute to improved academic achievement while reducing operating costs and protecting and conserving our natural resources. Schools built according to the NY-CHPS guidelines are durable, easy to maintain, healthy, energy efficient, and comfortable. These improvements contribute to a better learning environment that has been shown to contribute to reduced absenteeism and better teacher and staff retention. Main sections of the guidelines cover the school site, water, energy, materials, indoor air quality, O&M, and "extra credit" considerations. SED and NYSERDA established an Advisory Council to help guide the creation of the NY-CHPS guidelines. That Advisory Council consisted of members of the following groups: the Council of School Superintendents, the Association of School Business Officials, the Association of Educational Safety and Health Professionals, the Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds Association, the New York State Department of Health, the Healthy Schools Network, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the Association of Energy Engineers, and the American Institute of Architects. The guidelines are available for download in PDF Format (Length: 145 pages) at the URL listed here.
Source: NYSERDA and NY SED
U.S. EPA Healthy School Environments Portal
Abstract: The Healthy School Environments Web pages are intended to serve as a gateway to on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. Included on these pages are links to information on: the design, construction and renovation of school buildings; energy efficiency for schools; environmental education; facility operations and maintenance; indoor environmental air quality; legislation and regulations related to children's environmental health; outdoor air pollution; portable classrooms; safety and preparedness; waste issues, including recycling, waste reduction and composting; and water issues. The site also provides quick links to relevant U.S. EPA programs. The portal site also provides information about an assessment tool that EPA is developing to help school districts evaluate their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues in an effort to promote the health and safety of children and staff in the nation's 120,000+ public and private school facilities.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)