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Solar Panels and Schoolyard Chickens: A Net-Positive Campus

In the future, solar panels and schoolyard chickens will be the norm.


When Seattle’s Bulitt Center—the "greenest office building ever"—opens on Earth Day it will symbolize a shift in 21st century priorities towards intentionality, stewardship, and service. It will soon be followed by a net-zero energy hotel in the Fall of 2013. But businesses aren’t the only entities striving to meet the parameters of the Living Building Challenge by implementing the most ecologically conscious design and technologies available. A net-zero energy public school in New York City will open in 2014, and at our school on the southwest side of Chicago, the Academy for Global Citizenship, we are building a net-positive campus to house our net-positive community.

While the Bulitt Center will encourage net-positive values through net-positive design, at the Academy for Global Citizenship, the net-positive energy campus is being created as a prototype for educational and community spaces and is designed to support a mindful lifestyle. Our students, parents, staff, and volunteers contribute to a culture of service and stewardship—values that are interwoven into every aspect of the school. Our edible schoolyard garden, zero-waste cafeteria, and community celebrations foster and empower stewardship among the many stakeholders in our learning community.

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