Hilltop Elementary School of Marshall County was recognized as the only school in West Virginia certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards at a ceremony held at Oglebay's Wilson Lodge on Thursday.
The LEED certification is given to buildings for being environmentally conscious and rewards schools that are innovative in their building plans. A school must meet a certain number of points during both design and construction phases to earn a particular level of certification. Points are earned in a number of ways, including water and electricity conservation, the implementation of efficient heating and cooling systems and the use of green space surrounding the school.
According to McKinley & Associates architect Thomas Worlledge, although the Marshall County school was not originally designed to meet LEED specifications, the firm had already considered environmental issues in in the design.
Photo by Tyler Reynard
U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., speaks at a ceremony recognizing Hilltop Elementary School as the only school in West Virginia certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards Thursday.
"When we design a school, we look at the energy and environment aspects typically in our standard practice," he said. "And this particular school, the board chose to go after LEED certification. We didn't really have to do many changes to what we had already done."
He noted that the building is constructed of recycled material, which will ultimately be recycled again when it is no longer useful.
"The roof and the siding is Cradle to Cradle certified," Worlledge said, "meaning that the material is recycled and it will be recycled at the end of the process. If they ever remodel, the metal siding will go back to the manufacturer to make new siding."
Worlledge also said the structure features a "cool roof," which reflects heat and helps reduce cooling costs.
U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., who established McKinley & Associates in 1981, said Hilltop's environmentally conscious design sends a message not only throughout the state, but throughout the nation.
"We want to be able to say to people all across this country that we can do the right things, that we can save energy. I think we can do this all across America with our buildings and make them energy efficient," he said.