London Middle School is "greenest" school in Ohio
The saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” In the case of London Middle School, it’s the school itself that’s “greener.”
Completed in 2011, the 74,866 square-foot London Middle School is the first school building in Ohio to earn LEED Platinum certification.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a nationally recognized third-party verification program for buildings constructed with the environment in mind.
“In 2007, the Ohio School Facilities Council began a green push for energy efficiency and healthier indoor learning environments,” said Lisa Laney, director of OSFC’s Green Schools program, at a presentation made Sept. 28 before the London Middle School staff and student body.
The middle school was built with $13.3 million in OSFC funding. The commission works with the United States Green Building Council to implement LEED standards in new Ohio school buildings.
Schools vying for LEED certification are evaluated on a 79-point scale that covers everything from water efficiency to innovation and design. A school must earn at least 29 points for basic certification, 37 points for silver status, 44 points for gold, or 58 points for platinum. London Middle School scored 59 points.
Points categories and examples of how the school met the requirements are as follows:
• Sustainability: The middle school property includes 22 acres of restored habitat in the form of newly seeded prairie grasses.
• Water Efficiency: The school’s design reduced water useage by 34.3 percent over that of the old middle school.
• Energy and Atmosphere: The school achieved a 52 percent reduction in energy costs in part through installation of a geothermal well field with a heat pump system.
• Materials and Resources: Recycled materials made up 25.4 percent of the building. Eighty-five percent (866 tons) of the construction debris was diverted from landfills.
• Indoor Environmental Quality: The school’s design and materials emphasize mold prevention, low chemical emissions, optimal acoustics, and ambient lighting.
• Innovation and Design Process: Seventy percent of the school’s energy comes from renewable green energy sources. Eighty-six percent of the site is devoted to open space.
Eric Steva, project architect with SHP Leading Design, said London Middle School’s LEED Platinum status is a prime example of what a team of people can achieve when they aim high.
London school board member Curtis Brooks credited not only the architects, OSFC and the construction managers with the achievement, but also the community for its ongoing support and the City of London for the land exchange that made the Route 38 site possible.
Adelle Faulkner, the new middle school principal, appreciates the building’s green features on a daily basis.
“When you go in a room and don’t have to turn the lights on or off, that’s a huge energy savings,” she said, regarding the motion sensor lighting system.
Faulkner also noted the benefits of natural light in the library and hallways, low-flow water fixtures, and even heat throughout the building.
London Middle School’s “green” push will continue this spring when OSFC’s Green Schools program coordinates a project day to create an outdoor science “room” around the school pond. Students, staff and community volunteers will be recruited to help.
London Middle School is located at 270 E. Keny Blvd.