April 30, 2012 (COLUMBUS) London Middle School has become the first school building in Ohio to achieve a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Platinum is the highest designation under the LEED for Schools® rating system for sustainable building design and construction. The 75,000 square foot building serves 500 students in Madison County’s London City school district.
The project was funded through a combination of local and state funds under the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) program. OSFC Executive Director Richard Hickman said, “This project was completed within budget, with the full complement of education components incorporated into the building, and it was able to achieve this elite LEED rating. It was within our average cost per square foot guidelines and without any outside grants, locally funded initiatives or outside funding sources.”
Hickman added, “London Middle School is a great example of what can happen when a team embraces integrated project delivery and works together towards constructing an energy efficient, sustainable and healthy environment for students, teachers and staff. I congratulate the London project team–the district administration, SHP Leading Design (building architects), the Quandel Group (construction managers), and OSFC project administrator Jennifer Stokes–for their efforts both on the LEED Platinum certification and the building itself.”
London City Schools Superintendent Thomas Ben said that he was “awed by the opportunities for operational cost savings” and that he felt the end result “was something the whole London community would embrace.” The facility has a geothermal heating and cooling system and has a solar electric system that generates more than 15 percent of the electricity needed to power the school. The project team expects that these two features, along with the use of natural light, will be the basis of a 42 percent reduction in energy costs compared to similarly sized buildings.
The building’s energy-efficient design is already providing the opportunity for significant savings in operational costs. “On a recent sunny day in spring, the building was using the electrical equivalent of a medium-sized house” noted Eric Steva, the project architect from SHP Leading Design.
According to Lisa Laney, OSFC Green Schools Program Director, “The project team looked for ways to increase the sustainability of the building and 37 percent of the materials used in the building were purchased regionally and 25 percent were made from recycled material. In total, the construction team was able to divert 973 tons or 84 percent of construction waste from being sent to the landfill.”
In addition to London’s achievement of Platinum certification, 14 districts participating in OSFC funded projects have been awarded Gold Certification, with another 12 obtaining Silver Certification.