LEED-ing the Nation

From the September 2013 issue of Columbus CEO
  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
    Cedarwood School in south Columbus is LEED certified.

Ohio has more LEED-certified and registered school buildings than any other state in the nation, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. With 275 registered and 65 certified schools, the Buckeye State has more than twice as many green facilities as second-place California.

Take that, Golden State residents.

The achievement makes Ohio an ideal place to study whether school facilities constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards have an impact on academic performance. In June, the Columbus Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to the USGBC Columbus Chapter for a green schools impact study. The grant comes from the Dr. Thelma I. Schoonover Fund.

The chapter aims to raise a total of about $100,000 to fund the statewide study. Ohio State University graduate student Shanell Davis is conducting initial research, says David Scott, vice chair of the USGBC Columbus Chapter and a litigator in the business and construction practice at the law firm of Luper, Neidenthal & Logan

“We expect to have a … request for proposal done within probably the next two to four weeks,” says Scott. The study will compare student-teacher performance, attendance and graduation rates between LEED-certified schools and older buildings. he study will be submitted for peer-review—a process Scott sayscould ake up to a year to complete.

Stay tuned.