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Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design in New School Construction

Savings Category 
Solar Water Heat
Program Info
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Ohio School Facilities Commission

The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) administers funds appropriated by the Ohio General Assembly for the construction of new schools and renovations of existing schools. In September 2007 the OSFC approved a resolution ([ Resolution 07-124]) requiring that all new school construction projects not already in the design phase achieve LEED for Schools Silver certification, with a goal of achieving LEED for Schools Gold certification. Credits under LEED Energy and Atmosphere Category are considered to be "preferred" investments, although the regulation sets no specific standard for this category outside of the existing certification prerequisites.

In November 2007, a total of 13 school districts were approved for funding under the first round of a state school improvement initiative. The overall program is expected to fund 250 new or renovated school buildings, all of which will be required to abide by the sustainable building standard described above. Currently, 270 buildings have been funded/registered, with 2 Platinum, 17 Gold,12 Silver and 1 Certification received.

Provisions in S.B. 221, which became effective July 31, 2008, directed the OSCF to adopt "solar ready" requirements and guidelines for schools. In response the OSFC passed Resolution 08-164 in November 2008 providing requirements and guidelines for "solar ready" schools, where solar ready means capable of accommodating the eventual installation of roof-top, solar photovoltaic energy equipment. The requirements have been incorporated into the [ Ohio School Design Manual]. In June 2012, the OSFC proposed [ new rules] for the "solar ready" standards.