Prairie Winds Middle School Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification

Light pollution reduction, water efficient landscaping, and innovative design among scored sustainable features

March 1, 2018 (Mankato, Minnesota) – The U.S. Green Building Council recently welcomed Prairie Winds Middle School to its list of LEED Certified facilities. The LEED program, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

The $50 million School, built as part of a successful 2013 referendum, used recycled content building materials, plumbing fixtures that allow for 35% water use reduction, and controllable lighting fixtures.

“Being LEED certified helps reduce our environmental footprint,” says Sheri Allen.  “It saves money by minimizing operational costs and is deliberate about criteria to create a healthier environment conducive to comfort, learning, and productivity.”

This project was a collaborative effort between ISG, Mankato Area Public Schools, mechanical and engineering firm Dolejs Associates, and Wold Architects and Engineers. From the onset, ISG Principal + Vice President of Architecture Paul Lawton AIA, LEED AP wanted to create a facility that not only represented responsible design and construction practices, but also provided sustainable opportunities for educators, students, and the community to interact with the space. Joint use of facilities, which Prairie Winds Middle School offers with its classrooms, gym, field, and 1-mile outdoor walking trail, is a weighing factor in the LEED score.

“There’s a trend now for educational facilities to serve as community hubs, and that’s for a reason,” said Lawton. “By engaging the community, you can help bridge the gap between students, residents, and even businesses to create stronger districts.”

Prairie Winds Middle School joins 2,000 K-12 school projects certified, according to USGBC statistics. “Prairie Winds Middle School’s LEED Certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with a healthy, green, and high-performing buildings. Prairie Winds Middle School serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment.”

Click here to view press release from Mankato Area Public Schools.

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