Four GRPS bond projects receive LEED certifications

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Grand Rapids Public Museum High School received 41 credits for its $9.8 million renovation project. Courtesy GRPS

Four of Grand Rapids Public Schools’ most recent bond-funded school projects were awarded LEED certifications.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program presented certifications to Southwest Middle High School, Ottawa Hills High School, Buchanan Elementary School and the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School for their projects.

“GRPS has made environmental stewardship an important part of its culture for many years and is taking active steps toward sustainability at multiple facilities,” said Dr. Leadriane Roby, superintendent of GRPS.

The LEED certification is based on credits in different categories, including site sustainability, water use and efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and more.

Southwest Middle High School – Academia Bilingüe project earned a silver certification after earning 53 LEED credits.

Much of its credits came from the sustainable sites category, where it earned credits for stormwater design, light pollution reduction, bicycle storage and changing rooms. In the water efficiency category, the school earned credits for water use reduction and water-efficient landscaping. It also earned credits for its sustainable and efficient exterior envelope, which includes the roof, walls, doors, windows and insulation.

GRPS partnered with C2AE, Catalyst Partners, TMP Architecture and Rockford Construction to design and construct the $20 million project, which was funded by the $175 million bond approved by Grand Rapids voters in 2015.

Ottawa Hills High School, Buchanan Elementary School and Grand Rapids Public Museum High School earned LEED’s basic certification status.

Ottawa Hills High School’s $22 million project earned 48 credits for its water efficiency, including water-efficient landscaping and water use reduction, lighting power reduction of 72%, use of recycled content, use of regional materials and green housekeeping practices.

GRPS partnered with Isaac V. Norris and Associates P.C., Kingscott Associates Inc., Erhardt Construction and Catalyst Partners to remodel the 350,000 square feet building.

Buchanan Elementary School’s $13.6 million project earned 43 LEED credits due to its water-efficient landscaping; energy-efficient LED lighting; reuse of the existing structure such as walls, floors and roof; and low-VOC emitting materials for its 62,000-square-foot building. It also has LEED features such as bicycle storage and changing rooms.

GRPS partnered with Triangle Associates and GMB Architecture + Engineering on the project.

Grand Rapids Public Museum High School received 41 credits for its $9.8 million renovation project. The credits came from a light-colored roof to reduce heat, its light pollution reduction measures, reduced water use, high-efficiency HVAC and lighting, green housekeeping practices and the use of low-emitting adhesives, paints and flooring.

GRPS partnered with Kingscott Associates Inc., Lott3Metz Architecture, Rockford Construction and Catalyst Partners on the project.

The four schools now join Burton Elementary and Middle, Cesar E. Chavez Elementary, Harrison Park, Sibley Elementary and Gerald R. Ford Academic Center on the list of LEED-certified GRPS schools.

Some of GRPS’ facilities also qualified for recognition by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

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