AYERSVILLE — Ayersville Superintendent Don Diglia gave good news with the Ayersville Local Board of Education during its meeting Monday, sharing that Ayersville Local Schools has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council, through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certified building, due to its green construction and operation.

In addition, the board accepted the resignation of a school board member, approved a contract with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center to help with its superintendent search and approved putting its natatorium levy on the ballot (see related stories, page A1 and above).

Ayersville Local Schools, which finished renovations/construction in 2018, is one of 359 LEED-certified schools in Ohio, more than any other state in the country, which makes Ohio the world leader in environmentally-friendly buildings. The building finished with 59 points, one shy of gold certification.

“We officially received word that our new building project has achieved the LEED silver certification,” said Diglia. “This means we have followed the framework for a healthy, highly-efficient and cost-savings building.

“LEED buildings support a healthier indoor space,” continued Diglia. “Benchmarks such as thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and interior lighting support a better environment for our staff and students. We were one point shy of gold LEED certification.”

In order to achieve LEED-certified status, a building must meet several criteria during and after construction. Those criteria include: providing a healthy and safe environment for children to learn by designing a building that minimizes indoor pollutants, following guidance on specific strategies for construction of unique space types, and be energy efficient once constructed.

According to Todd Hager, LEED project manager for OFCC, an emphasis on energy savings allowed Ayersville Local Schools to earn this certification.

“There are many paths you can go to get certified, but we like to emphasize energy savings,” said Hager. “What that means is that the school is going to be very energy efficient, have a lot of natural light and doesn’t have materials that give off volatile compounds, so the air is good for students. The architect (Garmann Miller Architects) and the construction manager (Touchstone Construction Planning & Management) made sure this method took place.”

Some of the highlights for Ayersville earning silver certification include: earning a credit for brownfield redevelopment by abating all asbestos from the building; earning a credit for storm water design so that all runoff water is filtered and cleaned before it leaves the site; earning a credit for light pollution reduction; and earning two credits in construction waste management, with at least 75% of construction waste materials recycled.

In all, the building scored 14 out of 19 points for energy performance, putting it in the 30% range of being more efficient than a baseline-standard building.

“The building was not only designed to run efficiently, but it was tested after the fact to make sure it was running efficiently,” said Hager. “The school was awarded 59 points, which is the top end of silver certification, meaning it was almost gold certified. The Ayersville building is now the second school in Defiance County to earn LEED certification, after Defiance City Schools project earned gold certification in February of 2019.”

J.C. Benton, communications manager for OFCC, shared the Ohio’s Green Schools program has been in existence since September of 2007, when Ohio adopted LEED for schools as the standard for K-12 building projects. New or renovated school buildings that are co-funded by OFCC are designed to achieve LEED certification, the world’s most widely used green building rating system.

The rating system looks at design and construction practices including classroom acoustics, indoor air quality, selection of building materials and energy efficiency.

Said Benton: “We are very happy Ayersville is joining the ranks of being a LEED silver-certified building. This certification shows the dedication of its superintendent and board of education to have a safe and energy efficient school building.”

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