Shawano School District’s Gold LEED® Certified Primary School Ranks 10th in the World among LEED® Certified Schools

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 by Sustainability

Shawano, Wis.- Miron Construction Co., Inc. announced today that Shawano School District’s new 145,789-square-foot Hillcrest Primary School has been awarded Gold LEED certification, as established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), by earning 56 out of 80 points. The LEED® plaque will be awarded to the district at the upcoming Shawano School District Board of Education meeting, scheduled for Monday, April 18th at 5:30 p.m.

LEED® is an acronym for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. The LEED for Schools Green Building Rating System is the nation’s preeminent 3rd party verification for the design and construction of high-performance green schools.

By addressing the uniqueness of school spaces and issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention, community space sharing and indoor air quality, items that directly affect the health and well-being of children, LEED® for Schools provides a comprehensive green design and construction tool that enhances the quality of the facility. The rating system, focused on water and energy reduction, provides guidelines for measuring actual building performance.

Green schools cost less to operate, freeing up resources to truly improve students’ education. Their carefully planned acoustics and abundant daylight make it easier and more comfortable for students to learn. The clean indoor air cuts down on absenteeism and provides our children with a head start for a healthy, prosperous future. The innovative design also provides a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities.

“Hillcrest Primary School’s LEED® certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health.” Fedrizzi went on to explain that “buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems. The Hillcrest Primary School project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

Hillcrest Primary School achieved Gold LEED® certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, this LEED® certified building will save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for students and staff and the greater Shawano community.

“From the very start of our planning and building process, our community was committed to a green design and sustainable building,” said Todd Carlson, Shawano School District superintendent. “I am so proud to be a small part of a commitment that will set an example for our students, staff and community for many, many years to come. Receiving Gold LEED® certification shows what can be accomplished when we all work together.”

The main focus of the new primary school is to provide a healthy learning environment that will enhance the educational experience for children while teaching them the importance of environmental responsibility. Hillcrest Primary School’s high-efficiency building envelope, energy-efficient lighting and controls system and geothermal heating and cooling system are 45.6 percent more efficient than a conventional school, yielding a total annual energy savings of $95,244. Additional strategies that contribute to the overall energy efficiency include building orientation, exterior sun shelves, natural daylighting and building the two-story school into the side of a hill, which allows the main level (west side) of the facility to be at ground level, as well as the lower level (east side).

“The entire project team could not have been more proud of the Shawano community for asking for a green and healthy school for their children when they passed a referendum during one of our nation’s worst economic eras,” said Theresa Lehman, director of sustainable services for Miron Construction, who served as the LEED® Project Administrator for the Hillcrest Primary School project. “There is no doubt that by incorporating the rigorous LEED® requirements into the design and construction of Hillcrest that the quality of the school was enhanced, the building occupants are healthier and the taxpayers received the highest value possible for their tax dollars. I am honored to be part of the project tea m that was able to deliver one of top 10 LEED® certified schools in the world.”

The ventilation system with MERV filtration contributes to high indoor air quality, enhancing the health and well-being of the staff and students. Low-emitting materials also contribute to the air quality. Each classroom was acoustically modeled to provide the best opportunity for communication and connects the staff and students to the natural environment.

More than 15 percent of the materials have pre-consumer and post-consumer recycle content, and more than 50 percent of the materials were regionally harvested and manufactured. More than 70 percent of the wood purchased for the facility is FSC certified. By reusing and refurbishing existing classroom furniture, the district was able to save more than $167,000, allowing them to finish spaces that were originally planned for future build-out.

The 20-acre large open site is naturally vegetated with native and/or adaptive planting to avoid water usage for irrigation needs. A storm water detention pond has become an excellent teaching opportunity. To further increase water efficiency, low-flow plumbing fixtures were selected, resulting in a 46 percent decrease in water usage.

Throughout the construction process, Miron superintendents Jim Ziegler and Todd Schulz implemented a construction indoor air quality plan and a construction waste management plan. Their leadership resulted in diverting 92 percent (752 tons) of waste from the landfill, reintroducing the construction materials into the manufacturing process.

Somerville Architects & Engineers served as the architect for Hillcrest Primary School.

U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED® Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

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.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED® rating systems, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries. By using less energy, LEED® certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the community at large.

USGBC was co-founded by current President & CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, educational and research organization in the nation. For more information, visit


Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Miron Construction Co., Inc. is a forward-thinking, fast-growing private company completing work throughout the nation, and is also one of Wisconsin’s largest construction firms. Headquartered in Neenah, Wis., with regional offices in Madison, Wausau and Milwaukee, Wis., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last year Miron posted sales exceeding half a billion dollars. Miron provides innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build and general construction services. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Karen Buckoski
[email protected]

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