Houston On Ambitious Path To Build Green Schools

By Julie Bonnin

Houston’s air quality and recycling rates may be nothing to brag about, but the city’s school district is among the country’s leaders in its commitment to building energy-efficient schools.

Walnut Bend Elementary, on the city’s southwest side, is one of the first of dozens of Houston Independent School District schools that will be built or retrofitted to meet LEED standards, the nationally accepted benchmark for design, operation and construction of high performance “green” buildings.

“We’re the largest employer in Houston, and we feel we have a responsibility to the environment,” says HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. “We are teaching children, and that means we need to set an example of environmental stewardship that the children can follow.”