The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently certified Prairie Winds Middle School for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Certification focuses on high-performance buildings that require environmental-friendly and sustainable features such as water and energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Design, construction, operations and maintenance are all considerations. Recycled content building materials, plumbing fixtures that allow for 35 percent water use reduction, and controllable lighting fixtures were all specific criteria at Prairie Winds Middle School. Community interaction with space at Prairie Winds Middle School is provided in several ways and a weighing factor in the LEED score. Examples include use of its classrooms, gym, field, and 1-mile outdoor walking trail.
"Being LEED certified helps reduce our environmental footprint," says Sheri Allen. "It saves money by minimizing operational costs and is deliberate about criteria to create an environment conducive to comfort, learning and productivity."
Special thanks to architects ISG, mechanical and electrical engineering firm Dolejs Associates, and educational planners Wold Architects and Engineers.
“There’s a trend now for educational facilities to serve as community hubs,” said Paul Lawton, ISG principal and vice president of architecture. “By engaging the community, everyone benefits--students, residents, and businesses."
According to USGBC, Prairie Winds Middle School joins 2,000 K-12 school projects nationally who are certified and serve as a prime example of how local solutions can be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently to benefit the greater good.