Hathaway Brown Achieves LEED Gold Certification

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Hathaway Brown Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Hathaway Brown School has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification in operations and maintenance (O&M) for its commitment to a sustainable learning environment for students, faculty, and staff and environmentally-friendly policies and practices. HB is the only school in Ohio to earn the O&M LEED gold certification level. 

LEED certification, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC), is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building and sustainability. According to the USGBC, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. The LEED framework informs all building types including new construction, interiors, operations and maintenance, and core and shell.

“Hathaway Brown earned the operations and maintenance rating which is a performance-based certification for existing structures based on how we run the building, not the actual construction,” said Director of Sustainability Torrey McMillan ’90 who led the 18-month certification process. 

“Nationally, operations and maintenance certification based on existing buildings is extremely difficult to achieve,” said Head of School Dr. Fran Bisselle. “Our board of directors committed to this as an institutional priority and we are immensely proud to receive LEED gold certification and to continue integrating sustainable practices that reduce our ecological footprint but also provide students with a tangible example of environmental responsibility.”  

To achieve LEED gold certification, HB implemented and analyzed a range of sustainable strategies and practices. Notable features that contributed to HB’s LEED gold certification include:

  • Transportation, water, waste, and energy performance
  • Energy efficiency best management practices
  • Indoor air quality and ventilation
  • Purchasing policies
  • Green cleaning policies 
  • Light pollution reduction 
  • Indoor environmental quality performance 
  • And more. 

“Our school’s motto is to learn for life,” said Dr. Bisselle. “It was a natural fit to engage students from our Upper School Fellowship in Sustainability to assist in this project and apply their knowledge in action.”

Fellowship students served as apprentices in the LEED certification process. They were collaborative partners in conversations and decisions about policies related to green cleaning, renovation, and purchasing. Students also helped HB attain gold by measuring and testing outdoor light pollution and indoor air quality. 

Hathaway Brown’s LEED gold certification serves as a testament to its leadership in sustainability education and sets an example for other educational institutions in the region. HB's dedication to environmental stewardship aligns with its mission to nurture responsible global citizens who will actively contribute to a greener and more sustainable world beyond the school’s 16-acre campus.

HB also credits the female-owned, international sustainability, engineering, and building science consultancy firm Emerald Built Environments for the gold certification. In 2022, the firm selected HB as its Emerald Gives Partner to receive complementary consulting services.