• We recognize the vital role it plays in our community as a leader in promoting sustainable features into the design and operation of its facilities.

    • We were a key participant in the development and implementation of the Triangle J Council of Governments High Performance Guidelines for Triangle Region Public Facilities, September 2001. This document is intended to assist building owners in our region to achieve cost-effective, efficient, durable and environmentally sound public structures. It describes specific measures to save energy and water, reduce the use of materials, reduce indoor pollutants, and achieve other "green" goals.

    • Along with the Wake County Government, we jointly developed "Guidelines for Design and Construction of Energy-Efficient County Government Facilities and Schools" in 2004, providing a more detailed framework for use in developing efficient school designs.

    • All facility construction in the current CIP bond has been conducted to high performance standards. The Alston Ridge Elementary School, open in Fall 2010, is the first WCPSS school designed and constructed to meet standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council - LEED for Schools.

    • We developed a Sustainability Strategy Guideline, based upon LEED best practices, to guide the design effort in regard to features such as rainwater harvesting, ice storage, low-VOC materials, solar, geothermal HVAC mechanical design, etc. All building material selections and "green" features are evaluated based on a life cycle cost benefit analysis to determine feasibility in each application.

    • Building designers evaluate window alternatives to achieve best value while optimizing the use of natural daylighting in the classroom. Indirect lighting is typically designed into classrooms in green schools to improve the learning environment. Occupancy sensors and LED lighting technology are also components of our lighting strategy to reduce energy consumption in our schools.

    • We design its make-up air volume to healthy standards as defined by NC State Building Code, which requires 7.5 CFM per occupant in classrooms. Other standards such as ASHRAE and LEED specify a significantly higher rate of outside air, which drives larger mechanical equipment and higher utility costs to condition this air. Our designers continue to strive to achieve optimum long term value in our building equipment.

    • All HVAC systems are programmed to operate in setback mode when buildings are unoccupied to reduce energy consumption.

    • All paints, floor sealers and cleaning products are low-VOC and considered to be environmentally friendly. Our IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program is state-recognized for using environmentally friendly products.

    • Extensive recycling efforts include our "Feed the Bin" program for paper, as well as light tubes & ballasts, cardboard, printer cartridges, burnt oil, tires batteries & scrap metal. CNS (Child Nutrition Services) recycles all polystyrene plates, utensils, beverage cans, and frying oils used in our schools. During building construction activity, a waste management plan is enforced to salvage or recycle to divert a minimum of 50% non-hazardous construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills, as defined by LEED guidelines.

    In addition to modeling to our students a commitment toward respecting our environment, we recognize that they perform best in high performance schools where the physical learning environment is comfortable, quiet, well-ventilated and well-lit. Effective learning environments are, in part, the result of implementing best practices in school design followed by proper maintenance and regular upgrades throughout the life of the building. We strive to make the best use of the public's resources to continuously improve our schools and educational experience for all of our students.