May 18, 2011
Summary: Hilltop Elementary School, in Marshall County, West Virginia, designed by McKinley & Associates architect Thom Worlledge, won the prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification, the first school in the State of West Virginia to achieve this national recognition.
Sherrard, West Virginia - McKinley & Associates announced today that its project, Hilltop Elementary School, is West Virginia's first to achieve LEED® Certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design, is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The standards are established by the U.S. Green Building Council; buildings are verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
The Marshall County School Board chose to seek certification of the school after hearing about the energy and environmental benefits a LEED school provides. When the decision to seek certification was made, the school had already been designed and awarded to a general contractor. "Fortunately few changes had to be made to the design because I incorporate LEED strategies in all my design work, believing that energy efficient green design is just good practice," said Thom Worlledge, the building's architect, "but it's good to have a third party recognize the achievement."
Hilltop Elementary is a rural Marshall County school housing 410 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The building was placed on an old football practice field behind an existing middle school. The design reflects the forms of the agricultural buildings close by and blends into the landscape. Hilltop Elementary achieved LEED certification by incorporating a variety of sustainable design strategies for energy efficiency, lighting, water use and material use. By using less energy and water, LEED-certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment for students, teachers and the larger community.
"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. "Hilltop Elementary efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit generations to come."