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LEED® Platinum for Chartwell School, America's Greenest Educational Campus with a mission to tackle language challenges
Detail: Chartwell School has become the first complete educational campus to be awarded LEED® Platinum, the highest sustainability rating by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Douglas Atkins, Chartwell's Executive Director, says, "Educators around the country are taking a leadership role in using green building to provide the best possible learning environments for our children ….What began as a quest to give Chartwell students a campus to overcome language learning challenges has progressed into a working model that demonstrates to all schools that they can provide a healthy and environmentally responsible learning environment within a conventional school construction budget."

A study conducted by Herschong Mahone Group for the California Energy Commission found a compelling statistical correlation between the amount of day lighting in elementary school classrooms and the performance of students on standardized math and reading tests. According to a 2006 report prepared by consulting firm Capital E, while the average cost of going green is about $3 more per ft2, the average return on investment in terms of higher academic outcomes, lowered absenteeism, and reduced operating costs is about $70 per ft2, more than 20 times as high as the cost of going green.

Chartwell School, along with EHDD Architecture and general contractor Ausonio, Inc., achieved the high green building rating by focusing on energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. Some of these features included:

• Daylighting/lighting controls - incorporates natural light to save electricity, reduce HVAC equipment, and contribute to an enhanced learning environment.
• 32kW photovoltaic system - generates onsite electricity that cuts electric bills by more than half, and avoids 54,000 lbs of CO2 annually.
• Water saving features - reduces campus water use by 60% by using waterless urinals, dual flush toilets, and an 8,700 gallon rainwater cistern.
• Sustainable framing design - Twenty-four inch (rather than 16") framing reduced wood use by 30%, and the majority of the wood purchased was certified for sustainability by the Forest Stewardship Council.
• Construction waste diversion - Eighty-two percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled.
• Waste reutilization - inclusion of slag (iron-ore byproduct) improved concrete quality while reducing CO2 emissions.
• Improved indoor air quality - selection of paints, finishes, and furnishings with no VOC content reduced likelihood of irritating or toxic fumes that can trigger allergies or other negative health effects. Indoor CO2 monitors adjust ventilation rates.
• Designed for disassembly - partnered with Environmental Protection Agency to incorporate features enabling cost-effective disassembly for classroom relocation or campus enlargement.
Source: January 16, 2008, Business Wire
Date: January 27 2008