SeptemberOctober 2008
Industry News

Classes Begin at Missouri’s
First LEED Certified School

Missouri’s first LEED certified school opened in August for students in the North Kansas City School District. The $80-million Staley High School was designed by Hollis + Miller Architects, together with the school district and J.E. Dunn Construction Company.

Some of the sustainable design principles incorporated into Staley High School include extensive use of regionally sourced building materials (CMU, brick, steel, drywall and glass), as well as recycled steel content. Hollis + Miller designed the school to use 38 percent less water than a conventional building, and it will use 57 percent less energy than a conventional building.

Further, Daylighting is used extensively, which studies suggest helps produce higher test scores, reduce absenteeism and improve employee retention, according to the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International. Another strategy incorporated was to maximize open space and green space on the 20-plus acre campus. The team helped save three ponds on the existing site (protecting the habitat). Stormwater will be retained via the water harvested from the roof and site, which will then be stored in the pond for irrigation. This will help reduce site runoff and waste of rainwater. It also will provide a daily education opportunity for students.

Around the nation, green building principles and sustainable design solutions have become increasingly popular for school design and renovation. According the U.S. Green Building Council, nearly 100 public and private schools have been LEED certified since 2000, and another 800 are seeking certification.

Several states, including Hawaii, New Jersey and Florida, now require that new schools be more energy efficient, reduce their water usage and recycle more. The state of Ohio, which is considered a national leader in the greening of schools, has 250 new, green schools in various stages of design or construction. Officials say the state expects to save $1.4 billion in energy costs during the next 40 years through this program. MD