LMS first Ohio school to receive platinum rating
By Dean Shipley
London Middle School hit platinum.
No, it was not a hit song that went viral, but its building and grounds which won the highest award possible as a “green” school: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award (LEED). Not only that, LMS is the first Ohio school to achieve that prestigious award.
The entire school student body on Friday afternoon witnessed the bestowing of a large, platinum-colored medallion on school officials by the officials from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. School board members, past and present, along with current school Superintendent, Thomas Ben, and former superintendent, Steve Allen, the architect, Eric Steva of SHP leading design and other city and district personnel celebrated with them.
The platinum award comes to LMS for its high score in areas, which are related to the U.S. Green Council’s categories for rating the “green-ness” or total energy efficiency of a complex. Six categories were evaluated:
• Restored habitat, 22 acres put in prairie grasses
• Reduction in water use by 34.3 percent
• Recycled materials used, 25.4 percent (85 percent of construction debris, totaling 866 tons, diverted from the landfill
• Reduction of energy costs by 52 percent by use of geothermal well field with heat pump system
• Solar array system, which generates 71 kilowatts
• 70 percent of energy obtained from renewable green energy source, with an 86 percente of site devoted to open space.
Once each area was scored and the sums totaled, it was enough to qualify the school for the coveted platinum award.
The school was planned to be a showcase for energy efficiency in 2007. It started with a land exchange with the city of London. The plot of land on which the school sits belonged to the city of London. It traded that land for the sites downtown on Walnut and First streets. That way all London City Schools could be located in one area on both sides of Elm Street.
Mohamed Elsayed, board of director member for the Central Ohio chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, said the chapter is proud to have LMS as the first school to achieve the highest award. He said the amazing building was built as a result of planning, collaboration and leadership within the district.
Architect Eric Steva of SHP Leading Design listed all the savings (see chart). He also said the school is a product of team work.
“Everyone came together and aimed high,” Steva said. “When you aim high, you achieve.”