A Catalyst for Change

The Green Schoolhouse Series is a catalyst for change; a unique public/private collaboration that focuses on meeting the critical needs of children, education, and the environment.

Spearheaded by a strategic partnership between Brighten A Life, a nonprofit organization, and CAUSE AND EFFECT Worldwide, a cause development firm, The Green Schoolhouse Series brings together corporations, foundations, school districts, municipalities, communities, media outlets, and volunteers to build 21st-century, environmentally-sustainable schoolhouses on existing Title I, low-income, K-12 public school campuses.

Funded entirely through corporate partnerships, in-kind donations, and charitable contributions, every Green Schoolhouse replaces four to 10 aging portables with a permanent, multipurpose facility, ranging in size from 6,000 to 15,000 square feet.

Designed to serve the entire community, these remarkable buildings not only provide needed classroom space, they are sites for vital after-school programs, and function as community centers on nights and weekends.
LEED-Platinum Designed

Every Green Schoolhouse is designed to be LEED Platinum, the highest designation awarded by the United States Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a sustainability certification system established by the United States Green Building Council.

LEED Platinum is its highest designation, and to achieve that status, every Green Schoolhouse must be created using a whole-building approach, taking into consideration everything from design to materials to technology.

  • Daylighting
  • Natural Ventilation
  • Reduced Heat Island Effect
  • Reduced Water Consumption
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Water Efficient Landscaping
  • Community Connectivity
  • Joint Use Facility
  • Alternative Transportation
  • Recycled Materials
  • Zero-To-Low VOC Paints
  • Regionally Sourced Materials
  • Eco-Friendly Flooring
  • High R-Value Insulation
  • FSC® Certified Wood
  • Green Seal® Certified Products
  • Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies
  • On-Site Renewable Energy
  • Enhanced Acoustical Performance
  • Energy Management Systems
  • Energy Star® Appliances
  • Waterless Plumbing Fixtures
  • Motion Sensors
  • Energy‐Efficient HVAC Systems
  • Energy-Efficient Windows
  • Solar/Tankless Water Heaters
What Makes Them High Performance?

In addition to adhering to LEED standards, every Green Schoolhouse is designed in accordance with the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), a national movement to improve student performance and the entire educational experience by building the best schools possible.

As with the LEED-Platinum designation, CHPS standards require a whole-building approach. To begin with, a high-performance school is healthy, comfortable, energy efficient, and safe. It is also equipped with the most advanced educational technology available including interactive whiteboards, student response systems, and overhead document cameras.

CHPS standards mandate that participating schools meeting specific, advanced design and construction standards are teaching tools in and of themselves, making every Green Schoolhouse an ideal platform for educating students on the environment and sustainability.

A high-performance school serves as a much needed community resource; a focal point not just for students, but also for the neighborhood as a whole. In addition to providing classroom space, every Green Schoolhouse will also be used for after-school programs and community activities.


Volunteerism is one of the key pillars of The Green Schoolhouse Series. The inaugural Green Schoolhouse being built at Phoenix’s Roadrunner Elementary will not only be the first LEED-Platinum designed K-12 school built in Arizona, it will be the first LEED-Platinum designed K-12 public school anywhere in the world built entirely by volunteers.

Every Green Schoolhouse takes more than two years to plan, and they are erected in just 30 days by a team of 750 volunteers, using a “barn-raising” approach. Drawn primarily from the school, the community, and local businesses, the team also includes professional architects, engineers, contractors, and trades people coming together to make a difference in our children’s lives.
Brighten A Life

For more than a decade, Brighten A Life has improved lives through its mission to positively impact the learning environment, living conditions, and communities of disadvantaged children and families.

Since 1996, Brighten A Life has organized and led projects including Together We Paint, a community beautification effort that provides painting and repair services to low-income families and seniors, and A Blanket of Hope, a community-outreach program that provides homebound seniors with basic personal items.

Expanding on these efforts, The Green Schoolhouse Series is its most far-reaching project to date.

CAUSE AND EFFECT Worldwide is a cause development firm that does not simply engage businesses in the interest of supporting a good cause; it guides them step by step through the expanding realms of community outreach, volunteerism, and corporate social responsibility.

During the past 12 years, CAUSE AND EFFECT Worldwide has worked with more than 16,000 volunteers on more than 560 projects. Highlighting a special interest in education and the environment, most recently the organization has focused on school makeover projects and the construction of environmentally-friendly gardens at public schools and parks.
Project Overview
Corporate Headquarters
2888 Loker Avenue East
Suite 306
Carlsbad, CA  92010

P  760.431.5400
F  760.431.5405

© 2013 Green Schoolhouse Series - All Rights Reserved