of the Sentinel Konah
Sentinel High School will be one of the first schools in the state to boast a LEED rating.
Eco Club is adopting a new program called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, in the coming months. LEED is a national certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage the construction of energy and resourceefficient buildings that are healthy to live in.
This widely-used green building rating system will measure the overall “health” of a building and rate it on a score out of 100, 100 being the best score possible.
The five criteria to be measured are energy consumption throughout the school, water usage, waste and recycling, transportation to and from school, and the human experience throughout the school.
“Eco Club plays a key role in Sentinel’s LEED project,” said Eco Club President Zoë Beck, senior. “We are piloting this program for all schools in MCPS, in the hope that more schools will use this in the future to monitor their schools.”
When the program starts, students across Sentinel will be able to take a survey about their school. Eco Club will then collect the data and the results will be displayed in the lobby on a monitor.
A LEED plaque will be installed in the next few weeks in the front lobby. It is web based, so it will fit onto a computer screen, but the club plans to have a TV screen showing the LEED score along with another smaller computer monitor explaining what it all means.
The front lobby location was chosen by Principal Ted Fuller so everyone-staff, students, and guests--can see it when they come into the building.
“The purpose of this is to make a visible sign that shows how we as a school can work together to make a difference,” Cummins said. “Our score holds us accountable for the actions we take.”
According to Cummins, several plans are in the works to help improve Sentinel’s score, such as priority parking for carpooling, recycling stations, power down days, etc.
“This will make our school more environmentally conscience as well as saving money for the district. It’s a winwin,” Cummins said.
The LEED plaque ties in with Superintendent Mark Thane and the City of Missoula’s Zero Waste Initiative. The cost for the plaque is $1500 and will be paid for out of the Smart Schools 2020 Bond.
Cummins said the plaque itself was proposed by the engineers and architects on the Sentinel redesign committee as a cost-effective solution to the initial proposal of LEED certification.
“Everyone was on board and are hopeful that it will promote a level of sustainability and environmental awareness,” Cummins said.
The LEED score is updated every time a new piece of data is entered into the system. The Eco Club is hopeful to update and send out a survey once a month starting Feb. 8, 2018 during homeroom.
Eco Club believes the survey will show “if there is a change in the behaviors of the students, in terms of recycling and transportation and a change in teachers’ behaviors by adding recycling bins in classrooms and turning off lights and computers,” Cummins said.
“By introducing the LEED system to Sentinel, we hope to bring sustainability to the forefront of the school’s culture,” added Beck. “We want each person, whether that be a student, teacher, administrator, custodian or a visitor to our school to be a small piece in the puzzle of this initiative.”