Waldorf School Aims for Top Green Building Achievement

Charlottesville Virginia’s new Charlottesville Waldorf School is in the midst of a $6.2 million capital campaign designed to help the school become the first LEED Platinum elementary school in the country. It will feature a completely integrated “green” design featuring straw-bale construction, a rammed-earth wall, a living roof, geothermal heating and cooling, water reclamation and passive solar technologies.

“This is a project that comes from a deep commitment to the environment that is an integral part of the fabric of the Waldorf education,” said Sarah Tremaine, Chair of the Charlottesville Waldorf Foundation. “At the same time, the project allows us to teach by example and to promote a new, sensible movement among other schools, corporations and individuals,” she added. “We invite all concerned Americans to play a part in our effort and help to positively impact our environment and those who live in it for generations of Americans to come.” LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council and reserved only for those projects and builders who adhere to the ultimate standards of environmental responsibility. The certification is based on a checklist of environmental factors in six categories: sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process. The building is designed by Charlottesville architect and Waldorf School parent Ted Jones. “The process of going from a green project to a LEED Platinum building,” Jones said, “expands the issue of environmentally friendly design into a national debate on how a building can challenge us all to analyze the connections between resource management and industrial manufacturing.” The campaign, called “Building a School, LEEDing a Community,” is geared not only toward building the school, but toward galvanizing a community, said Tremaine. “We are creating a school that will be a model of affordability in green design,” she added. “It allows members of our community, and communities across the country to be part of a brand new business paradigm that is at once local, sustainable and affordable.” The Charlottesville Waldorf School is one of 900 Waldorf Schools worldwide. For the past 20 years, the school has taught environmental responsibility as an integral part of its curriculum. It has grown from a 12- student kindergarten program to a full 180-student elementary program educating nursery through eighth grade.
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