Top K-12 Special Education School Greens Texas’ Gulf Coast

The green story of an underdog special education school inspires 10,000+ K-12 Texas schools to reverse the environmental effects of the recent oil spill by going green. Monarch becomes Texas’ Gulf Coast healthiest special needs K-12 school.
July 1, 2010 - PRLog -- The Monarch School, a national leader in special education programs for children with autism / Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and other neurological differences, is celebrating the A+ earned recently by its new Chrysalis green building, Texas’ most sustainable K-12 school.

The environmentally cutting-edge, 100% green powered building is also the first LEED® Gold certified and “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR®” certified special needs school in the United States.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – How could the green story of an underdog, special education school inspire 10,000+ other K-12 schools and 5 million students to reverse the environmental effects of the recent oil spill by going green? The Monarch School’s Chrysalis building recently became Texas’ healthiest, most sustainable K-12 school.

Monarch’s commitment to kids, health and sustainability started outside the classroom. Since 2007, Monarch purchased 100% Green-e certified green electricity from GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS (, improving air quality for healthier kids. “As a leading partner, Monarch knows that striving for a healthier, more sustainable future is easy and economical,” said EPA Green Power Partnership’s Director Blaine Collison ( “Their green power purchase not only eliminated nearly all of the school’s carbon footprint, but also put The Monarch School in the company of more than a hundred other Texas organizations that are members of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership or 100% Purchasers group.” Nationwide, only 38 K-12 schools are members of the EPA Green Power Partnership, 14 of which are purchasing 100 percent green power.”

Before Chrysalis’ opening less than a year ago, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the green school with its rarely awarded “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” (DEES) certification - placing Monarch at the top of its class, among the nation’s 14 percent most energy-efficient private and public K-12 school buildings, and saving a projected $170,000 over 25 years on energy alone.

Recently, Monarch’s Chrysalis became the highest rated LEED certified K-12 school in Texas and the first special education facility in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction Rating System (instead of LEED for Schools).

Together, the DEES and LEED certifications make Monarch’s Chrysalis the healthiest, most sustainable K-12 school in Texas and set Chrysalis apart with other top green K-12 schools nationwide.

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Head of School and Founder Dr. Marty Webb said, “We are delighted to have achieved such high scores from both green building programs, especially since we started pursuing DEES and LEED certifications so late in our design process. Our earliest green commitment – to renewable electricity – equipped and inspired us to do so much more because it cost less than conventional brown power. In our case, green was less expensive and it was easy. Imagine how much more other schools can do today.”

Green energy broker Mark Robinson at GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS ( said, “While designing the new green campus, The Monarch School recognized that green business and green building start with green power. For Monarch, green electricity was an immediate, economical, practical and meaningful sustainable strategy to save and change the lives of students, particularly those with autism / Asperger’s, attention deficit and hyperactivity, and other neurological disorders.”

Matthew Tejada Executive Director of Air Alliance Houston ( said, “Air quality is a real issue for kids and Houstonians. From 2006-2008, Houston suffered severe ozone alerts roughly one out of every ten days (35.7 days weighted average per year from 2006-2008). And, according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2010 Report  (, Greater Houston had a failing score for its air quality, namely ozone and particulate matter. Monarch and other green power purchasers are saving lives.”

Texan businesses and homes use more electricity than any other state - by roughly fifty percent. However, the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association’s (TREIA; Executive Director Russel Smith said, “Texas’ renewable energy industry is doing its part to help schools like Monarch improve air quality and achieve such a high standard of sustainability. The United States leads the world, and Texas leads the nation in wind generation capacity. For example, at 12:54 PM on March 2010, wind peaked at an exceptionally high 22% of electricity demand at that time on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ grid. This capacity is what places Texas among the least expensive states for green energy.”

Gexa Energy ( secured the most recent multi-year competitive commercial electricity bid through the Monarch School’s energy management consultant, GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS. “We are proud of our relationship with GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS and the Monarch School. Moreover, we are pleased to be a part of the school’s continued dedication to environmental responsibility,” said Larry Boisvert, Vice President of Sales and Commercial Development for Gexa Energy.

One parent said, “It is truly inspiring to see Monarch and other K-12 schools go green genuinely and economically. Please keep showing tomorrow’s parents and leaders – today’s youth – that they deserve better air quality and a secure future.”

Imagine how powerful an impact The United States’ 105,000+ K-12 schools will have on student health when we reach ‘grid parity,’ when prices for renewable energy – even onsite solar and wind – drop below prices for brown power. Sustainability like Monarch’s will become the standard for green campuses.
To learn about Chrysalis’ green building strategies, visit

Mark Robinson
Management Consultant, Partner
Momentum Bay Associates, LP (d.b.a., Sustainable Texas)
281-451-3841 or 877-ECO-TEXAS

Copyright 2010 Momentum Bay, LLC. All rights reserved. Media release may be reproduced, unchanged, as long as it retains author information and hyperlinks.

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Momentum Bay is a comprehensive “green” management consulting and marketing firm headquartered in Houston since 2002. That is, we catalyze green business, green building and/or green power from strategy to procurement to messaging.

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