“I think it's a great opportunity for everyone to see how they can save energy in this economy,” Betty Ojaye, director of the school and the new building's namesake, told the newspaper. “Our building can be a model.”
The building was given gold certification under Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
“The LEED green building certification program encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance,” states the U.S. Green Building Council website.
David Biggs, the school’s facility manager, told The Daily Times that the building was designed with the environment in mind with features like bicycle parking, recycled construction waste, and green-certified carpet and irrigation systems—all of which contributed to the gold certification.
He called the certification process “intense,” saying it took more than a year to complete because the LEED certifiers “scrutinize everything.”
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) website LEED certification qualifies organizations to get state and local government incentives.
NRDC offered the following suggestions for becoming LEED certified: set a clear environmental target and a clear and adequate budget, stick to that budget and to the LEED goal, engineer for Life Cycle Value—how green investments will affect expenses overtime—and hire LEED-accredited professionals.