Catawba Trail Elementary School has been awarded LEED® Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Designed by LS3P for the Richland Two School District, this 111,000 SF building was adapted for its site from a prototype design. The school is organized into academic “houses” to create a smaller-scale learning environment for its 750 students, with an internal courtyard providing natural light and outdoor play areas. Sustainability strategies include stacked classrooms to minimize the building footprint and maintain green space, the use of local and regional materials, high-performance mechanical systems, and daylighting throughout the building. The school opened in the fall of 2011.
Columbia Studio Leader Allen Taylor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, notes that “Richland School District Two is one of LS3P’s legacy clients and with our work on sustainable projects, we were thrilled when the District decided in 2008 that their future schools would be designed for a goal of LEED Silver. “
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Catawba Trail Elementary School is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.” The LEED certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 100,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.
LS3P has designed over 13 million square feet of LEED certified space to date. Building or renovating schools to meet LEED initiatives is not only beneficial for the environment, but also has measurable academic impacts. Research shows that natural daylighting significantly improves students test scores, reduces absentee rates, and contributes to staff retention, and increases the overall construction budget by less than 2%. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
About LS3P: LS3P’s Columbia office celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. A design firm with regional roots and a national reach, LS3P operates from its 6 offices in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, SC and Charlotte, Raleigh and Wilmington, NC, providing architecture, interior architecture, and planning services. LS3P is deeply committed to the communities in which it serves, with over 400 design awards in diverse practice areas. Founded in 1963, LS3P was named Southeast Design Firm of the Year for 2014 by Engineering News Record (ENR). For more information on LS3P, visit www.ls3p.com.