TAS is the first international school in East Asia to become a member of the Green Schools Alliance.
You have probably noticed the bright blue track at TAS, but you may not have noticed the green aspects of the Upper School Science and Technology Building, Upper School Gym, and Liu Lim Arts Center. While numerous design and mechanical features set the buildings apart, they are still in line with the many schoolwide green initiatives that TAS is pursuing to preserve resources, reduce costs, and model responsible and technologically advanced global citizenship.
During the budgeting and planning stage of the project, the TAS School Board confirmed its intention to make the buildings green by providing sufficient funds to attain the Bronze level of EEWH (Ecology, Energy savings, Waste reduction, and Health), which is Taiwan’s equivalent to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) in the USA.
That intention was realized in 2014 when all three of the new buildings received the Bronze level EEWH certification. The certification was the result of the school’s Board of Directors’ vision and unwavering commitment to resourcing this environmental initiative for TAS. The Construction Committee, Artech Architects, and Parsons Brinkerhoff, the construction manager, worked with TAS to ensure that the planning, materials, and construction met the exacting EEWH standards.
Achieving the EEWH certification’s energy saving standards was accomplished over three years of preparation and execution. Examples of energy saving features installed in the new building include a specific reflective property on exterior windows for sunlight, the incorporation of sufficient natural light and airflow, landscaped green spaces on the surrounding property, the appropriate disposal of construction materials, and properly treated sewage.
In addition to new facilities, a three-year-long sustainability improvement project for the existing buildings on campus received the LEED Gold Level Certification for EB-OM (Existing Buildings – Operations and Maintenance) from The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Improvements included eliminating Freon chillers, replacing building control systems, committing to LED lighting improvements, updating the temperature sensor systems, and revamping purchasing policies in order to make all purchases, chemical or otherwise, environmentally friendly. Other LEED certified buildings in Taiwan are Taipei 101, TSMC, Farglory Group, and other high tech company buildings.
Today, the new and existing buildings are celebrated for their functionality, quality, and green sensitivity. They are a public recognition of TAS’s commitment to the environment and serve as a model for responsibility, sustainability, and global citizenship.
The Green Team at Taipei American School is a coalition of parents, students, teachers, and administrators who are dedicated to helping foster responsible “green” attitudes and actions inside our community. The Green Team’s mission is three-fold. First, the team promotes the school’s philosophy of responsible custodianship of our planet’s resources, and assiduously seeks to identify means to symbolize that philosophy. Also, the team shares ideas for better uses of our resources; this fosters a green operational mindset. Finally, the team champions the integration of green concepts into the school-wide fabric of our curriculum.
Student Environmental Alliance (SEA)
At TAS, the SEA collects recyclable materials that would otherwise be wastefully thrown away. Members make recycled paper and make weekend trips to the coast to help preserve the beaches.
Green Energy Club
The TAS Green Energy Club (GEC) gives students a deeper understanding of today's renewable energy trends. Students conduct labs to gain hands-on knowledge of the fundamental technologies that promote sustainability and research various aspects of fuel cell technology for economic and environmental viability.
The club also engages with environmentally conscious companies to witness the development and manufacturing processes of green technologies that could have an impact at TAS.
The lower school Green Club recycles paper from every classroom and office every Friday, waters the plants in the gardens, picks up litter outside, and shows ecology DVDs to raise awareness about the harmful effects of pollution. The group also coordinates EARTH Week every year and raises money for non-profit organizations. The middle school Green Club does many of the same activities, and supplies students with reusable water bottles to use instead of plastic containers.