Only in Ohio!
Central Ohio’s leading association of efficiency-minded construction professionals urges Ohioans to fight the covert and under-informed effort to ban the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system.
LEED is the building standard required in any school construction or renovation that uses state funds provided by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. It helps those who design, construct, own and operate buildings to be more environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. But state Sens. Joe Uecker, R-Loveland, and Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, last week introduced a resolution to ban LEED in all public construction.
Ohio is the No. 1 state in the nation in green schools. Green schools, like all green buildings, promote occupant health by increasing daylight and reducing noxious chemicals. They promote prosperity by reducing energy costs. They are more sustainable because they promote the use of locally sourced and recycled materials. And they reduce construction waste and water use.
Since adopting LEED, Ohio’s green schools have outperformed baseline energy performance by 34 percent, almost 200,000 tons of construction waste has been diverted from landfills and occupants report improved educational outcomes.
So why would Ohio step backward and ban LEED? Because an out-of-state consortium of chemical companies is upset that the latest version of LEED would make occupants aware of the chemical ingredients within their building materials. So they bent the ears of sympathetic legislators.
The U.S. Green Building Council-Central Ohio chapter is leading an analysis of data from Ohio’s nearly 100 LEED certified schools to measure educational outcomes. Banning LEED would fly in the face of its proven benefits, and it would rob Ohioans of an unprecedented opportunity to see whether or not, and to what extent, students and other occupants thrive in Ohio’s green schools.
The construction industry members of the U.S. Green Building Council-Central Ohio chapter value the economic opportunity of designing and building high-performance facilities for Ohio students. We urge Ohioans to put our business interests, and the interests of our schoolchildren, ahead of those of an out-of-state lobby.