Metro Technology Centers announced its Metro Career Academy (MCA) has been awarded LEED Gold certification. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute GBCI), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Metro Tech’s MCA achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting and water conservation and for using materials found within 500 miles of the site. The facility’s green roof garden and landscaping are made of Oklahoma native vegetation. This is one example of incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, the MCA saves money for businesses, taxpayers and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a healthier environment for students, employees and the larger community.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The Metro Career Academy project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
Another important aspect of the building that produces energy savings is an innovative, insulated exterior cladding called Outsulation, manufactured by Dryvit Systems. J.W. Mollohan, Dryvit’s strategic marketing manager, said by placing insulation on the outside of the building, air leaks are sealed so the cool or hot air is kept inside the structure, saving on energy costs. “Outsulation breaks the notion that green can’t be beautiful,” Mollohan said. “We’re proud that our product will save Metro Technology Centers a ton of money on energy costs and serve as a warm welcoming welcome for visitors and students.”
Cary DeHart, president of the construction management firm, CMSWillowbrook, said the MCA was constructed to meet the needs of a full-service community school while remaining sustainable.
“We knew it was important for the building to provide a superior academic experience while promoting sustainability,” DeHart said. “The building is breathtaking, environmentally friendly and will provide the innovative learning approaches these students need.”
The MCA is a school designed to provide at-risk teenagers with the academic and life skills needed to prevent them from dropping out of high school. Metro Technology Centers’ Superintendent, Dr. James Branscum, said the building will also serve as a learning tool for the students. “While learning skills they’ll use for the rest of their life, these students will also learn ways to make the future greener,” Branscum said. “From concept and design to construction and the final details, every aspect of this building will save on energy costs and help promote a healthy environment.” The MCA is the first LEED-Gold-certified CareerTech building in Oklahoma.
LEED Gold certification of the MCA was based on a number of green designs and construction features that positively impact the project, itselfit, and the broader community. MCA architect, Fred Quinn of Quinn and Associates said designing the MCA had unique challenges. “You must combine beauty and usability while showcasing energy-savings features. I’m proud to know the building went from a sketch to a tool that will create bright futures for Oklahoma City area students,” said Quinn.