South Africa school achieves milestone green rating
Jeppe Park Primary in Johannesburg, South Africa, has become Africa’s first school to achieve a 4-Star Green Star rating.
The school is part of the non-governmental organization Streetlight Schools and boasts a number of green building and sustainability focused measures, reports Infrastructure News. The accolade was awarded by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
Officials said the school’s focus was on high-quality, low-cost education infrastructure that puts the well-being of the students first.
The naturally ventilated building has many windows that provide students with access to healthy indoor spaces. Use of locally sourced materials provide acoustically designed spaces such as classrooms, libraries, play and social-areas, which are suited to educational purposes.
School ground greening allows for various outdoor activities, as well as the inclusion of nature as an integral part of learning and development. The use of low-emission printers and photocopy equipment, low-VOC compounds, adhesives, sealants and carpets reduce internal air pollutant levels.
An environmental management plan was implemented for all construction phases, and a waste management plan successfully reduced construction waste by 30 percent.
Dorah Modise, CEO of the GBCSA, said the organization is upbeat about the certification.
“Not only does this school bring healthy green spaces and green thinking to disadvantaged scholars, it is also starting the very necessary process of greening the education sector,” she said. “Beyond how the school was constructed, it’s also operated in an energy, water and waste efficient manner, which will go a long way toward helping these children understand that resources are finite and come at a price.”
The school has reduced waste generation by developing and implementing an operational waste management plan and providing separation bins, food waste recycling and composting and recycling waste storage areas.
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