For Immediate Release 
December 11, 2013
 

Ohio reaches national milestone: 100th Green School building certified

December 11, 2013 (COLUMBUS) A Monroe County school has become the 100th public education facility in Ohio to achieve certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its use of environmentally friendly design. The Monroe Central High School building in the Switzerland Local school district achieved the rating under USGBC’s LEED® green building rating system.

LEED® is a points-based rating system that focuses on environmentally-friendly design including energy and water efficiency, sustainable site development, material selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED criteria rank schools (or buildings) at various levels of sustainability. Those levels include Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Starting in 2007, the OSFC has required that the design of each school building funded through the OSFC must seek Silver certification at a minimum with a goal of achieving Gold. The Monroe Central High School facility was awarded a Silver certification. Of the 100 certifications, 44 schools have exceeded the goal of Silver Certification.

Ohio is the recognized nationwide leader in sustainable school design, with more than 300 total schools either registered or certified through the USGBC's LEED rating system. Data from Ohio’s first 100 certified schools show the buildings to be 35 percent more energy efficient and use an average of 37 percent less water usage than buildings built to previous standards. In addition to these direct utility savings, schools are realizing tangential on-going operating savings from the sustainable and environmentally designed schools. The LEED schools also provide a healthier indoor environment for the students and staff in these buildings.

OSFC Executive Director Richard Hickman called today’s announcement “Exciting and certainly a statement on how Ohio has embraced environmentally friendly design.” He went on to add that “these projects, which represent a commitment to both our school children and the future of our environment, are the direct result of innovative team work from architects, construction managers, trade contractors, and our project partners, the local school districts. I commend them for their accomplishments.”

“We congratulate the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the entire state of Ohio for being a national leader in creating healthy, sustainable schools,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. "Since 2007, we've watched OSFC successfully grow a program that shows LEED is working for Ohio – these schools are saving money, energy and resources. Ohio's commitment to the wellbeing of its students, teachers and communities through the use of LEED is cause for celebration."

Public interest in the green building concept is very strong, with a recently-released independent survey authorized by the USGBC revealing that three out of four Americans support the green schools concept. Additionally, the use of the LEED criteria has a positive economic effect for Ohio and surrounding states. All OSFC projects using LEED encourage the use of products and materials that are either recycled or are manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the project. On average, the 100 schools have been obtaining 35 percent of their material from regional sources and 22% of materials contain recycled content. The 100 schools have also diverted over 188,114 tons and 57,000 cubic yards of construction waste from Ohio landfills.

A complete listing of the LEED schools can be found at the newly launched Ohio Collection in the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) at http://www.gbig.org/collections/12880.


About OFCC

Established in 1997, the Commission is responsible for administration of the state’s school construction and renovation program. The Commission is currently working with, or has completed all necessary work in, nearly two-thirds of the state’s 613 school districts.

On September 10, 2012, the Commission was consolidated with the Office of the State Architect to form the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The Ohio School Facilities Commission continues to exist as a separate commission within the new agency, focusing on funding Ohio’s comprehensive K-12 school construction program.


About LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. Every day, more than 1.5 million square feet of space is certified using LEED. More than 56,000 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising 10.4 billion square feet of construction space in 147 countries and territories. In addition, more than 47,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system. Learn more at http://usgbc.org/LEED.

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Media contact: Rick Savors at 614.466.7746 or rick.savors@ofcc.ohio.gov