Energy efficient school opens its doors

September 2, 2008 11:39:31 AM PDT
It's the first day of class for students in a brand-new energy efficient school building in the East Bay.

The Windrush School in El Cerrito has gone to extraordinary lengths to become environmentally sustainable. Teachers there believe students need to learn how to protect the environment as part of their education and builders used some unusual materials to construct the new middle school building.

"The insulation is made of recycled blue jeans, so anytime someone is wondering what they can do with their old jeans, they know they can turn them into wall insulation. We are powered by solar panels on our roof. The floors are made out of soybeans," says the head of school Llana Kaufman.

The school grounds are also irrigated by a storm drain system. School officials say the new features will save about $16,000 a year in energy costs.