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Sustainability and the New Schools

Sustainable Summit:

On Thursday, October 24,2013, School District 4J staff and members of the design consultant
teams for the new Howard Elementary School, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary
School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Arts and Technology Academy (ATA) met to discuss
sustainability and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and
Click Here for full document.

Sustainable Directive from 4J School District

The Board of Directors for School District 4J has made a decision regarding minimum sustainability goals and LEED certification for the four new school projects.
The decision, and therefore direction for design teams, is to utilize the LEED framework for sustainability guidance but to NOT pursue LEED certification.  The Board established LEED Silver as the minimum level of achievement with the potential for higher levels of achievement.  We know from past experience that simply by following our past and current practices, achieving LEED Silver will not be particularly challenging. 
However, by establishing this as the baseline, we can aspire to do measurably more without the confinements of prescriptive requirements.  This will allow us to better focus additional enhancements in areas that deliver operational costs savings with attractive returns on investment, or that might have high educational value.

Project teams would potentially exceed LEED Silver standards if they meeting the following criteria:

  • The project must remain within the project schedule and budget.
  • The initiatives or features must comply with the district standards for materials, systems, and design.
  • Initiatives must result in decreased operating and/or maintenance costs by demonstrating favorable life-cycle cost analysis on a 50 year basis, or simple pay-back of 15 years or less.
  • Initiatives deemed to have a strong educational component or value will be considered regardless of whether they meet the above criteria (although they must meet the schedule and budget criteria).
  • Design teams will provide sufficient information to district Capital Improvement Program (CIP) staff for evaluation of measures.  CIP staff will determine which measures beyond the LEED Silver baseline will be incorporated.

As you all know, reaching this decision was not easy and was not made without careful consideration of all of the invaluable input and processing of information provided by each of you.  We share your passion toward achieving the best balance of sustainability and cost, both long-term and short-term, while keeping at the forefront that we must strive to do what's best for kids and our
community.  We sincerely appreciate all that you have contributed to this process and look forward to working with you to create outstanding educational facilities that we can all be proud of and that will serve our community for many years into the future.

4J Howard and River Road School Team Page © 2013