GREEN BULDING INTITIATIVE ™ RECOGNIZES POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S BETHKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION ACHIEVEMENT
Project Recognized as Country’s First Green Globes™ Rated School
Timnath, Co. (September 13, 2008) – Today, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) recognized Poudre School District's Bethke Elementary School, a 63,000 square foot, two-story building, for its achievements in sustainable design and construction which were identified using the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.
|Timnath, Colo. (September 13, 2008) – Today, the Bethke Elementary School achieved a sustainable construction milestone by becoming the first school in the United States to be recognized by the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system. The school received a three Green Globe rating from the GBI. On hand for the dedication event were (left to right): Dave Cunningham, Green Building Initiative and Dr. Jerry Wilson, Superintendent of Poudre School District.|
During a special dedication event held to celebrate the opening of the school, Dave Cunningham, a representative of the GBI, presented leaders from Poudre School District and RB+B Architects, Inc. with a plaque recognizing the building’s achievement of three Green Globes.
The school was recognized for, among other things:
Key environmental features of the building include a state-of-the-art evaporative system to address its cooling load and allow for the elementary school to be air-conditioned year-round, a super insulated building envelope, high-efficiency boilers and operative windows that ensure 90 percent of the building’s space will be daylit.
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 and its classrooms are on one side while spaces like the gym, cafeteria, music and media center are on the other.
"The goal of any high performance building is to combine the innovation of environmental design with functionality," said Cunningham. "The Poudre School District’s Bethke Elementary school not only achieved this balance, but also provides a unique opportunity to teach students, faculty members, as well as community members about the important principles of sustainable design and construction."
Green Globes was adapted from a system that is widely used in Canada and is a revolutionary green building guidance and assessment program. The system has been officially recognized by legislation or executive order in 18 states as well as by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Interior. In addition, Green Globes has been formally recognized by private sector institutions such as Aon, Liberty Mutual and the Fireman's Fund.
"This building showcases our commitment to educate current and future generations about the importance of being responsible stewards of our environment," said Ann Alfonso, Bethke Elementary School’s new principal. "We hope other school districts, as well as other building owners; will follow our lead when investigating future construction projects as we believe green building is just better building."
To achieve a Green Globes rating, Bethke Elementary's project team from RB+B Architects, Inc. used the Green Globes tool to assess and rate the building themselves. The firm has been leading the sustainable charge for Poudre School District's new educational facilities since 2000 and their design for Fossil Ridge High School, the District's newest high school completed in 2004, achieved national recognition as a sustainable, high-performance facility. In addition, the firm has designed several other projects in the District, including four elementary schools and a new junior high, all of which incorporate sustainable design practices.
Later, a GBI authorized third-party building science expert was engaged to review the construction documents, conduct an on-site inspection and confirm the original rating. The building achieved the same Green Globes rating from both RB+B Architect's building team and the third-party assessor.
"Green Globes was helpful due to its interactive framework and ease of use, and we found the suggestions and solutions provided with the questionnaires particularly insightful. Most importantly, using Green Globes helped us and the District in our focus of creating a high-performance school," said Corky Bradley, AIA, Project Architect for RB+B Architects, who handled the Bethke Elementary School project.
The Bethke Elementary School is just one of many projects that have achieved a Green Globes rating. Others include: the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AK, Blakely Hall in Issaquah, WA, the Pfizer Clinical Research Unit in New Haven, CT, the NewPage Corporate Headquarters in Miamisburg, OH, the Chandler Airport Commerce Center in Chandler, AZ, the RenewAire, LLC corporate headquarters in Madison, WI., the Point at Morristown in Morristown, NJ, the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, VA, the Alberici Headquarters in St. Louis, MO and the Materials Recovery Facility in Summit County, CO.
For more information about the GBI and Green Globes, visit ww.thegbi.org.
About the Green Building Initiative The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. To learn more about the GBI or the Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system, visit www.thegbi.org.