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Sustainability and Greener Buildings

The passage of Issue 13 in November will create unique opportunities to incorporate strategic sustainable building techniques into the design, construction, and continuing operation of our historic school buildings. It will also provide an opportunity to re-think site usage including water management, and how to connect students better with our outdoor spaces.

Each OFCC-funded renovation project, that is, every K-8 building, will achieve LEED Silver for Schools Certification. It is possible that some or all of these buildings will exceed LEED Silver, a question to be explored during the design phase. The District has begun assessing Ludlow for LEED Silver for Schools Certification and is optimistic that it is within reach.

In addition to OFCC dollars, the District will pursue the incentives and savings available in the Inflation Reduction Act, The Infrastructure Bill as well as County and State grant opportunities to fully leverage the public investment in energy efficiency, electrification, and other advanced sustainability technologies. The Shaker Schools Foundation is a willing partner in supporting sustainability enhancements and can be helpful in identifying opportunities to secure private grant money. 

To help guide its work, the District will enlist the help of an advisory group of stakeholders that will include local experts, engaged parents, students, and staff members to work with the designers and builders on planning and implementation. This team will help ensure that the buildings, the grounds that surround them, water management considerations, and other important parts of minimizing consumption, waste, and sustainably managing the District’s physical spaces all receive sufficient representation. The group will also recommend curricular opportunities for engaging students in this work and in the ongoing life of each building. Last but certainly not least, the group will be asked to help the District adopt and implement continuing sustainability practices in its operations and maintenance.

The District is investigating ways to improve its energy resilience. The Shaker City Schools took possession of its first fully electric school bus in August. It recently announced that it won almost $600,000 in grant money to support the purchase of two more electric buses as it works to convert its fleet to low emissions vehicles. To leverage the planned transition to a lower carbon school bus fleet, the District will study such questions as what would be needed to allow a bus or buses to power a school in the event of a power interruption.

What are some of the things that you will see at newly renovated schools? Energy efficient, healthy buildings. Chargers for electric vehicles. Low draw LED lighting with sensors that adjust light levels based on ambient light. Zoned environmental controls so that classroom spaces can respond to needs individually so that no space need be over-cooled or over-heated because of comfort needs in another part of the building. Use of low VOC materials where possible in construction. Embedded sustainable practices.

Our Focus

  • Sustainable Site Design

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Water Efficiency

  • Healthy School Environment

  • Curriculum

  • Community Engagement

  • Environmental Justice

  • Outdoor Teaching and Learning

  • Waste Reduction and diversion


Every Shaker Heights OFCC-funded renovation project will achieve LEED Silver certification, and our aim is to surpass that if possible.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the world's most widely used green building rating system. LEED certification provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings, which offer environmental, social and governance benefits. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation. LEED for Schools recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools, addressing issues such as classroom acoustics, children's health, and educational opportunities. To achieve LEED Silver Certification, a project must earn 50 to 59 points out of a possible 110 points in five main categories.

You can find more information on the USGBC and LEED here

Please click here to view our preliminary LEED Assessment, performed by a LEED Accredited Professional, Green Building Consultant, and OH Registered Architect.

Visit our resources page for a full list of research papers, case studies, and green school reports.

Other Resources:

Center for Green Schools | Advancing green schools

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