OFCC Recognized at April Commission Meeting for 200 LEED Certified Schools

Read Rick Fedrizzi's Thank You Letter. Read more about the recognition on the OFCC website.  On behalf of Rick Fedrizzi, the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter is happy to share a Thank You letter to all Ohioans that contributed to the 200+ LEED certified schools. Ohio leads the nation in public K-12 LEED schools and we should be proud of the advancements we are making for our children. It takes a community to make a successful high performing, healthy and environmentally friendly school where our children can go to safely learn every day. We would like to add our thanks to all parties that worked on the schools and who are moving to make Ohio a more healthy, prosperous and sustainable environment. Kind Regards, Lisa A. Laney, Chair USGBC Central Ohio  

USGBC and the American Chemistry Council to Work Together to Advance LEED

WASHINGTON, DC - (August 27, 2014) - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today announced a new initiative designed to ensure the use of sustainable and environmentally protective products in buildings by applying technical and science-based approaches to the LEED green building program. This new initiative acknowledges USGBC’s success in leading the transformation of the built environment and sets up a pathway to take advantage of the materials science expertise of ACC and its members. “USGBC and ACC share the goal of advancing sustainability in the built environment, and we will work together to take advantage of our collective strength and experience,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The looming impacts of climate change and the possibilities of improving human health and wellbeing favor collaboration and engagement as key strategies. The goal is forward progress.” ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley noted, “Modern energy efficiency gains, building safety advances and carbon footprint reductions would not be possible without the products of chemistry. From windows to insulation, adhesives to flooring, chemistry provides solutions that enable the energy efficient and sustainable buildings that consumers expect in today’s world. By combining USGBC, a leader of the green building movement, with the scientific know-how of ACC, we can develop a path to stronger, science-based standards that achieve measurable progress in sustainability.” LEED is regularly updated through a rigorous development process that includes public comments, technical review and balloting. USGBC and ACC will work within that framework to incorporate state-of-the-art safety, sustainability and life-cycle based approaches to LEED. LEED has facilitated advances in building technologies, integrated design and operating practices, as well as the tremendous growth of the green building sector, which supports or creates 7.9 million jobs across all 50 states and contributes $554 billion to the U.S. economy annually. The American business of chemistry employs nearly 800,000 Americans and supports nearly 25 percent of the U.S. GDP. Chemistry-based plastic building and construction materials saved 467.2 trillion BTUs of energy over alternative construction materials – enough energy saved over the course of a year to meet the average annual energy needs of 4.6 million U.S. households. Energy savings made possible by innovations in chemistry in homes in the U.S. prevented nearly 283 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2010—equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 50 million passenger vehicles.

Ohio Leads the Nation With 150 LEED Certified Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Rick Savors, Media Relations Manager 614 466-7746 / rick.savors@osfc.ohio.gov   July 17, 2014 (COLUMBUS) – The State of Ohio continues to lead the nation in environmentally friendly public school facilities. Officials at the Ohio School Facilities Commission announced today that the Columbus Scioto middle-high school building (grades 6 through 12) in the Columbus City School District has become the 150th public education facility in Ohio to achieve certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® green building rating system. With that certification, Ohio maintains its lead in the number of buildings certified, outdistancing California, its nearest competitor with 108 certified buildings. Another 190 Ohio school buildings are currently in design, under construction, or waiting on final word on their certification applications. LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a points-based rating system that focuses on environmentally-friendly design including energy and water efficiency, sustainable site development, material selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED criteria rank schools (or buildings) at various levels including Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Starting in 2007, the OSFC has required that the design of each school building funded through the OSFC must seek Silver certification at a minimum with a goal of achieving Gold. The Columbus Scioto School was awarded a LEED Gold certification. Currently 3 Ohio schools have achieved the Platinum certification, 67 the Gold certification, 77 the Silver, and three (3) others have been Certified. OSFC Executive Director Richard Hickman called today’s announcement “Exciting and certainly a statement on how Ohio has embraced environmentally friendly design.” He went on to add that “these projects, which represent a commitment to both our school children and the future of our environment, are the direct result of innovative team work from architects, construction managers, trade contractors, and our project partners, the local school districts. I commend them for their accomplishments.” The Columbus Scioto building is designed to create an atmosphere of educational stimulation while providing significant operational cost savings. For example, the building maximizes the use of natural sunlight to reduce lighting costs and incorporates a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system that will save energy costs for the district. Overall, data from Ohio’s 150 LEED certified schools show the buildings are designed to be 33 percent more energy efficient and use an average of 39 percent less water than buildings built to previous standards. The LEED schools also provide a healthier indoor environment for the students and staff. A complete listing of the LEED schools can be found on the OSFC website (http://osfc.ohio.gov) or at the newly launched Ohio Collection in the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) at http://www.gbig.org/collections/12880.

Green Schools Research Fellows

Ohio's 2007 mandate that all publicly-funded school construction projects achieve LEED Silver certification (or better) offered the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter an incredible opportunity to quantify the value that sustainably designed, constructed, and operated schools confer to building occupants, specially the students, and to the larger environment. In partnership with experts at Battelle, we have undertaken a research program with the goal of answering the question, ‘Do green schools, which are just green buildings, matter?’ Over the past 18 months, USGBC Central Ohio’s first Green Schools Research Fellow in Education, Ms. Shanell Davis, sought to determine the impact (if any) that sustainable building design and construction have on educational outcomes such as student test scores, attendance, and rates of disciplinary actions in Ohio’s K-12 public schools. To conduct her research, Ms. Davis collected data from a subset of Ohio’s LEED schools (of which there are nearly 150 as of June 2014) and from Ohio’s traditionally designed schools, data that included the aforementioned educational outcomes, the LEED credits achieved at the sustainably designed schools, and socioeconomic and demographics data of the students. We are presently preparing a manuscript for submittal to the Journal of Environmental Psychology that describes the findings from our research thus far.


Mr. Bruce Underwood, the Chapter’s second Green Schools Research Fellow in Education, was hired in May 2014 to continue Ms. Davis’s research. He just earned his Masters of Environmental Studies at Ohio University, where his thesis focused on the assessment of teacher and principal attitudes towards environmental education in the Logan-Hocking School District in southeastern Ohio. Mr. Underwood will add data from the 2013-2014 school year to Ms. Davis’s dataset, and will seek to understand if there is an association between educational outcomes and attainment of LEED credits in specific credit categories, such as indoor environmental quality. He is also planning to expand Ms. Davis’s analysis to include schools that were certified under both LEED v2007 and v2009.


Starting this fall, Ms. Katrina Staker will begin her role with the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter as the inaugural Green Schools Research Fellow for Energy. Katrina is finishing a Master's degree in Renewable and Clean Energy at the University of Dayton. With guidance from her mentor, Dr. Kevin Hallinan, Director of UD’s Building Energy Center, Ms. Staker will be working to see if Ohio’s LEED schools conserve energy compared to traditionally designed and constructed schools, and to quantify the financial benefit (if any) that such conservation conveys.

Press Release: Educational Performance and LEED

USGBC Central Ohio Chapter Investigates Relationship Between Educational Performance and LEED

What if sustainably built schools were not only good for the environment, but also for students, and ultimately, communities?

With the goal of quantifying the advantages of green building practices, the U.S. Green Building Council Central Ohio Chapter is working with Battelle to investigate the effect of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on educational outcomes.

"We want to quantify the value of LEED, and one way to do that is to look at how building occupants perform in green buildings," said Ian MacGregor, Director of Research Programs at the USGBC Central Ohio Chapter. "The whole idea is to try and quantify the benefit, ultimately in dollars and cents."

The Central Ohio USGBC Chapter has been awarded the 2014 Malcolm Lewis IMPACT! grant to continue this research, which began in January 2013, led by the Chapter’s first Green Schools Research Fellow, Shanell Davis, a graduate student at the Ohio State University. The Chapter recently hired Battelle researchers to examine educational outcomes in Ohio's more than 130 LEED-certified schools, focusing specifically on student test scores, student and teacher attendance, and rates of disciplinary actions.

In addition to Battelle, the Chapter is looking to partner with University of Dayton and Otterbein, and to hire new Research Fellows in Education and Energy in the next month.

MacGregor said he expects results from the study in the summer. The research will eventually be made available to public policy makers, both on a state and national level.

The Chapter is also exploring opportunities with organizations like the Ohio Public Health Association for future phases of the research, Chapter Board Chair Jeremy Cohen said.

"Green building has such broad reaching impacts, and we are excited to see the research process reflect that," he said.

The Chapter is eager to get started on the future phases of this research, which they hope will show the far-reaching impacts of green buildings.