October 16, 2009 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio School Facilities Commission has announced that a Cincinnati school building has been awarded the state’s first certification for environmentally-friendly design.
Cincinnati School District’s Pleasant Ridge Montessori School has been certified as achieving “Silver” status under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards of the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Under current OSFC policy, all buildings approved for funding after July 2008 must meet the Silver certification criteria.
OSFC Executive Director Richard C. Murray called the announcement, “A momentous event, and an excellent example of how our goals of providing quality educational facilities can interlock with Governor Strickland’s emphasis on improving Ohio’s environment. I congratulate the Pleasant Ridge team on a job well done.”
To meet the Silver certification goal, the construction team for Pleasant Ridge focused on reducing pollution derived from construction activity, favoring low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles in parking plans, and providing a high ratio of open space in relation to the development footprint to promote biodiversity.
The 75,310-square-foot building takes full advantage of natural light and incorporates many green and sustainable features such as a white reflective roof, a high-efficiency HVAC system and a raised flooring system for improved ventilation Specifically designed to fit the Montessori learning method, groups of classrooms surround common, extended learning areas, giving teachers space for extended group learning activities on each of the building's three floors.
Though Pleasant Ridge is the first school to qualify for the Silver certification, it won’t be the last. Currently over 170 buildings are going through the registration process for LEED certification, with at least another 80 buildings expected to seek certification within the next 12 months