Georgian Heights Alternative ES is the First CCS School to Receive This Distinction
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded to Columbus City Schools (CCS) the designation of LEED Gold Certification for the newly constructed Georgian Heights Alternative Elementary School. LEED which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a process designed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings.
Georgian Heights has the distinction of being the first school under the Columbus City Schools Facilities Plan to achieve LEED certification. The LEED Gold Certification exceeds the goal of LEED Silver set by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. This achievement not only recognizes the Georgian Heights Alternative Elementary School project as a showcase example of sustainable design, it also commends the District’s leadership in transforming the building industry. The building located at 784 Georgian Drive, welcomed students in September, 2012.
“Sustainable design and the LEED certification process provide a benchmark for monitoring our building designs to allow the district to continue to advance the quality of academic spaces we are able to provide for our students and staff”, said Carole Olshavsky, FAIA, Senior Executive of Capital Improvements, Columbus City Schools. “The District set a goal of LEED Gold for all of our Segment 3 projects, and is thrilled that this first certification for Georgian Heights has met that goal.”
The LEED scoring system evaluates buildings in six different categories: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priorities. Columbus City Schools has required that design consultants focus on sustainable strategies that conserve energy, improve the indoor air quality and contribute to a 21st century learning environment. The Georgian Heights building was designed to optimize energy performance by being more than 30% more energy efficient than a standard building. The building uses geothermal wells as part of the heating and cooling system. Other sustainable features include:
- Maximized the open or green space on site, included bicycle storage and changing room; dedicated parking spaces for low-emitting and energy efficient vehicles; designed the stormwater system to reduce site run-off; and included an outdoor classroom with native plant materials.
- Plumbing fixtures were selected to reduce water consumption.
- 75% of the construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills. Materials with recycled content and materials manufactured locally were specified where possible.
- To protect the indoor air quality, a management plan was implemented to monitor and test air quality during and after construction; materials including paint, floor coverings, adhesives and sealants were specified as low-emitting materials.
- Classrooms were designed with enough natural light to reduce the quantity of electric lights required and with occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when unoccupied. Ninety percent of the occupied spaces have access to direct natural light.
- The gym and cafeteria were designed with daylight harvesting systems that turn off electric lights when adequate natural light is available through windows and skylights.
The architects for the Georgian Heights project were M+A Architects. Dynamix Engineering served as the Consulting Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineers. M Engineering provided Civil Engineering Services, and MKSK provided landscape architecture services. The General Trades Contractor was Robertson Construction and Smoot Elford Resource was the Construction Manager. Ron Minekime served as the Columbus City Schools Project Manager for this project.