The Allen-Stevenson School Turns Green to Gold
The Allen-Stevenson School is the first primary school in the United States to be awarded LEED Gold for Existing Buildings (EB) by the U.S. Green Building Council, July 1, 2009.
A Charter Member of the Green Schools Alliance and the venue from which the GSA was launched in November 2007, Allen-Stevenson used its most recent renovation as an opportunity to achieve LEED Gold Status and to reduce its carbon footprint. This renovation, which was completed in 2006, combined five existing buildings into a new structure, for a total area of 72,000 square feet, and incorporated a number of green features which included: environmentally preferable carpet tiles and linoleum flooring; the installation of high performance compact florescent and low mercury content fixtures, lighting controls that include occupancy and day lighting sensors, LED exit signs, low flow lavatory fixtures and metered faucets; and the installation of high performance glazing and shades on windows, just to name a few.
Allen-Stevenson seeks to empower Students and Faculty to become mindful of their energy needs, and engage them to conserve. In addition to its building which serves as a living laboratory to teach its students about environmental stewardship, in September 2006, Allen-Stevenson launched its Committee On the Environment (COTE). The following spring, COTE inaugurated the first Earth Awareness event on Earth Day. One year later, in October 2007, the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) was launched at Allen-Stevenson. Allen-Stevenson has incorporated environmental stewardship into curriculum with programs such as it's EcoBowl Challenge started by a fifth grade student in 2010.
ALLEN-STEVENSON’S STEPS TO LEED-EB GOLD CERTIFICATION
Upon completion of its most recent building renovation, Allen-Stevenson had achieved 17 credits towards LEED certification. After conducting what is called a LEED charet Allen-Stevenson realized it had the potential to pursue the level of LEED Silver. As the process progressed, it became evident that Allen-Stevenson would exceed LEED Silver, so the School reapplied for a Gold certification. The process was completed with a total score of 51.
While calculating the Energy Efficiency, Allen-Stevenson was closely monitoring its utility consumption. Allen-Stevenson updated its EPA Portfolio Manager and was elated when it received the news in December that its new Energy score was a 75, for which it was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious ENERGY STAR. This means Allen-Stevenson is in the top 25 percent of energy efficient buildings in the U.S..
ALLEN-STEVENSON’S GREENING HIGHLIGHTS
In 2009, A-S’s rating increased 10 percent to 85 putting A-S in the top 15% of energy efficient buildings in the nation. That increase of 10 points was due largely in part to energy conservation measures. Allen-Stevenson is currently in the top 10% of energy efficient buildings in the country and improving daily.
Other accomplishments include:
- Reduced electrical consumption from 2006 to 2009 by a remarkable 22 percent, and is already down an additional 29 percent for the first quarter of this year. Achieved this reduction by optimizing building management systems and taking advantage of new technologies and programs that enhance the systems.
- Recycles 49 percent of its waste stream.
- Installed a program to monitor indoor air quality.
- Uses GREEN CERTIFIED cleaning products exclusively, and all its paper products are made from recycled content.
- Purchases 100 percent green energy - for which the premium is offset by energy curtailment rebates. • Eliminates the use of tray service which reduces the costly operation of our dishwasher.
- Improved lighting controls in the Gym by installing occupancy sensors along with daylight monitors and dimmable fluorescents.
- Replaced the Sodium Vapor fixtures in the Assembly Hall with energy efficient dimmable fluorescent fixtures.
- Became a member of the national Greenovation project introduced by Lutron lighting. This past spring, the Upper School Science Lab was fitted with Lutron controls, which consist of occupancy and day light sensors with dimmable ballasts. The system is linked to a network where it can be monitored on a real time basis. The School saves an average of 60 percent of its daily electrical consumption in this room during the course of a regular school day. This system will be installed throughout the building.
BENEFITS OF LEED CERTIFICATION
LEED Certified buildings provide healthier work environments, which contribute to higher productivity and improved comfort. Certified buildings use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings. In addition, LEED buildings: Reduce operating costs, Reduce solid wastes, Conserve natural resources, and Minimize the strain on local infrastructure.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a Green Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It provides a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Since its inception in 1998, LEED has grown to encompass 14,000 projects in the United States and 30 other countries around the world. LEED was created to accomplish the following:
- Define “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement
- Promote integrated, whole building design practices
- Stimulate green competition
- Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
- Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
The Rating system addresses six major areas each of which requires a prerequisite. They are: Sustainable Sites, Water efficiency, Energy and atmosphere, Materials and resources, Indoor environmental quality, Innovation and Design.
Within these major areas there are 85 subcategories, each worth a specific credit. The certification levels and credits begin at: Certified: 32-39 Silver: 40-47 Gold: 48-63 Platinum: 64-85. LEED buildings commit to installing new policies that address how they operate as an institution such as: Indoor air quality monitoring, Purchasing and use of green materials, Green power enhanced commissioning, Storage and collection of recyclables materials.
Learn more about The Allen-Stevenson School.