Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taft first Ohio high school to achieve LEED Platinum

The Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati's West End has become the first high school in Ohio to receive LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Completed in March 2011, the $18.4 million, 104,000-square-foot building, serving 600 students in grades 9 through 12, is the first building in the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) system to receive the honor.

"We are very proud to be the first district in Ohio to complete a new school building that earned the highest distinction among sustainable construction projects," said Mary Ronan, superintendent of CPS, in a prepared release. "It was our Board of Education's vision in 2007 to ensure that the remaining projects of our Facilities Master Plan embraced LEED design standards."

Green features include one of the region's largest green roofs, funded in partnership with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati. The building also boasts exterior sunshades, a high-efficiency "active chilled beam" HVAC system, and water-saving appliances and fixtures.

Turner Construction Company, Monarch Construction Company, and other subcontractors contributed by recycling construction waste, managing indoor air quality, and filtering water runoff.

The project's location also contributes to its sustainability, said Christopher Dumford, project architect with Mason-based VSWC Architects, which designed the building.

"Several LEED 'points' are only available to projects located in dense urban areas," he said. "Generous access to public transportation, shared parking with the adjacent stadium, and limited hard surface areas are all factors we leveraged to exceed the sustainability goals for the project."

CPS is wrapping up the final phase of its ten-year, $1.1 billion Facilities Master Plan, renovating or rebuilding 50 school buildings throughout the City.

The district had the honor of building the first LEED Silver public school in the state – Pleasant Ridge Montessori – and has LEED Gold schools at Dater Montessori and Sands Montessori. Another 19 schools are registered with the USGBC and are expected to be rated LEED Silver or higher.

On April 30, the CPS board approved a $26.8 million low-interest loan to pay for energy-saving retrofits at 28 of its schools.

Images courtesy of VSWC Architects.

Previous reading on BC:
Taft IT High School photo update, 9/4/09 (9/28/09)
Taft High coming down for new building (8/22/08)