|July 17, 2014 (COLUMBUS) The State of Ohio continues to lead the nation in environmentally friendly public school facilities. Officials at the Ohio School Facilities Commission announced today that the Columbus Scioto middle-high school building (grades 6 through 12) in the Columbus City School District has become the 150th public education facility in Ohio to achieve certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® green building rating system. With that certification, Ohio maintains its lead in the number of buildings certified, outdistancing California, its nearest competitor with 108 certified buildings. Another 190 Ohio school buildings are currently in design, under construction, or waiting on final word on their certification applications.
LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) 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 including 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 Columbus Scioto School was awarded a LEED Gold certification. Currently 3 Ohio schools have achieved the Platinum certification, 67 the Gold certification, 77 the Silver, and three (3) others have been Certified.
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.”
The Columbus Scioto building is designed to create an atmosphere of educational stimulation while providing significant operational cost savings. For example, the building maximizes the use of natural sunlight to reduce lighting costs and incorporates a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system that will save energy costs for the district.
Overall, data from Ohio’s 150 LEED certified schools show the buildings are designed to be 33 percent more energy efficient and use an average of 39 percent less water than buildings built to previous standards. The LEED schools also provide a healthier indoor environment for the students and staff.
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.
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.