Green Construction Results in LEED Silver Certification for Pleasant Ridge Montessori School

Pleasant Ridge Montessori is the First Ohio Public K-12 School to Achieve the Honor

SHP Leading Design is pleased to announce that Pleasant Ridge Montessori School has been awarded LEED® Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the rating system used by the USGBC for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings.

“This announcement is a monumental achievement for SHP, Cincinnati Public Schools and the community of Pleasant Ridge,” Charlie Jahnigen, SHP Vice President said. “The school was the first LEED registered K-12 building in the State of Ohio and the first to receive its LEED certification.”

The SHP designed Pleasant Ridge Montessori School is a 75,000 square foot educational facility that serves 550 preschool through sixth grade students and was constructed on the school’s existing seven-acre site.

“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, USGBC. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Pleasant Ridge Montessori School is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

To promote a green environment, special energy saving components are included in the school’s design. Solar panels maximize energy savings from use of natural light. Utilities and mechanical systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning are run through the floor, providing a more comfortable and healthier educational environment.

Students at Pleasant Ridge also benefit from the windows of their building facing the north and south. This eliminates the sun’s glare and provides an optimal amount of natural daylight and diffused light through translucent window panels, minimizing the need for artificial light. The white roof reflects sunlight, reducing heat absorption. The use of recycled and locally produced materials, low VOC-emitting products, and water-conserving fixtures also meet LEED requirements.

The new school is also very popular. Since it opened, enrollment at Pleasant Ridge Montessori has nearly doubled. The school has seen a jump in students from 317 students in May 2008 to a remarkable 572 the following year.

“This building has changed the way we design by influencing design standards at both the district and state level,” Jahnigen adds.

Cincinnati Public Schools adopted the sustainable design standards established by Pleasant Ridge Montessori and is applying them to all of its future projects. The State of Ohio followed suit. Now, every new public school in the state that receives state funds must meet LEED Silver certification or better.

“Everyone involved in this new school should be very proud,” Jahnigen said. “Pleasant Ridge provided an incredible opportunity to realize the benefits of sustainable design, and CPS has proven to be an invaluable partner in the process.”


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