Bethke Awarded Gold Certification
Poudre School District announced today that Bethke Elementary is the first school in the nation to be certified through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Schools Rating System. Bethke was awarded a Gold level certification, which is the second highest rating in the LEED program. LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings. LEED for Schools recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools and addresses the specific needs of school spaces.
"This recognition speaks to the district’s commitment to providing high performance, energy efficient, quality learning environments. The PSD community entrusted us to make wise decisions in school construction when they approved the 2000 bond. Bethke is an excellent example of the efforts that resulted in many outstanding additions to our school district." said Jerry Wilson, Superintendent of Schools.
Bethke, which opened its doors in August 2008, was designed by RB+B Architects as a prototype using PSD’s nationally recognized Sustainable Design Guidelines. Zach, Bacon, and Rice Elementary Schools were built using the same prototype as Bethke. Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment was the LEED consultant on the project.
"Poudre School District is demonstrating to the local and national community that we can significantly improve the quality of our schools through thoughtful design. PSD's high performance schools are benefiting teachers, students, and taxpayers by creating healthy and energy efficient places for learning. It doesn't get much better than that." said Josie Plaut, Director of Projects at CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment.
LEED certification of Bethke Elementary includes a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. PSD has contracted with Xcel Energy to provide 100% wind power to the site, and the building has been designed to accept future photovoltaic panels. Other features include a state-of-the-art evaporative cooling system, super insulated building envelope, high-efficiency boilers, operable windows, and building spaces which are 90 percent day lit.
In addition, many of the sustainable systems that are typically hidden, such as structure and mechanical systems, fire sprinkler riser and piping, data management equipment, and building monitoring equipment, are instead exposed inside the school to indicate their function and provide dozens of educational opportunities. The building is also divided into "passive" and "active" sides in order to provide a quiet, distraction-free learning environment. This is accomplished by placing classrooms on one side of the building (passive) while spaces like the gym, cafeteria, music, and media center are on the other (active).
"With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green
Building Council. "As the first in the nation to achieve certification under the LEED for Schools Rating System, Bethke Elementary is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement."
Bethke was also recently recognized by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) for its achievements in sustainable design and construction using the Green GlobesTM environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings. Bethke was also the first school in the U.S. to achieve a Three Green Globes rating by the GBI's system.
About Poudre School District
Located in northern Colorado, PSD is the ninth largest school district in the state with 50 schools serving 24,000 students. PSD’s mission is to educate every child every day.
About RB+B Architects
RB+B Architects, Inc. has been leading the sustainable charge since the 1980s, working with organizations like CSU’s research campus to add sustainable design into their facilities. A big part of the firm’s work involves environmentally-friendly architecture, upholding the firm’s belief that sustainable, high-performance facilities not only reduce energy and operating costs but are healthier and show increased productivity for the individuals who inhabit them.
RB+B has designed high-performance schools for Poudre School District’s new educational facilities since 2000. Their design for Fossil Ridge High School, completed in 2004, was the first high school in the State of Colorado to achieve Silver certification under LEED for New Construction. Other high-performance facilities include Bethke Elementary, the first Gold Certified building in the U.S. under the LEED for Schools category, and LEED Platinum (Core and Shell) Seven Generations Office Park.
In addition to their educational experience, RB+B also designs sustainable commercial, mixed-use, religious and recreational environments.
About the CSU Institute for the Built Environment
The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) is housed in the College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State University. IBE specializes in facilitating the integrated design and construction processes to help teams create environmentally and economically responsible buildings. In addition, IBE works on projects that engage CSU graduate students in valuable educational experiences through guided professional work.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria.
Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.