Sponsored by Beijing City International School (BCIS). Located in Beijing’s CBD, BCIS lives by its motto: “Empowering and Inspiring Through Challenge and Compassion.” This not-for-profit, co-educational day school provides a personalized, inclusive international curriculum under the International Baccalaureate (IB) World School system, offering the PYP, MYP and DP to both expatriate and Chinese national students from Toddler to Grade 12. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortly after the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the Beijing City International School (BCIS) Early Childhood Center (ECC) received some highly anticipated news. The ECC has achieved a globally recognized high level of eco friendliness and green construction by being LEED Certified to Gold Standard; the first pre-school facility in Beijing to receive such an accolade. But what is LEED? And why is it so significant that the BCIS ECC has attained it?
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system is awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and is a way of certifying construction, renovation or other development projects for their high levels of sustainable and environmentally friendly technology and work practices.
In order to gain LEED certification, a building project must satisfy a set of pre-requisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. These points are earned by meeting the many categorized prerequisites. If you total between 40 and 49 points, you get basic LEED Certification. A score of 50-59 gets you Silver Certification, 60-79 gets Gold, and 80 or more points receives Platinum. The ECC has achieved Gold Standard, which is a remarkable feat currently matched by any other pre-school facility in Beijing.
The architect chiefly responsible for the amazing design of the ECC, David Waggoner, advised the BCIS team that “LEED is not a single event, it’s a process; a marathon in fact.” So why did BCIS embark on this “marathon”? Being eco-friendly and encouraging green education is at the heart of learning at the school, and creating a LEED-certified facility was an amazing way to integrate the green spirit into the very soul of the campus. One of the aims in creating the ECC facility was to have the building as “the third teacher” — the other two being the teachers and the students themselves. The building is not just bricks and mortar; it is an organic teaching facility, every corner of which offers the children new perspectives, wonder and discovery. Its efficient water use, air filtering, natural light, spacious rooms and clean materials demonstrate day-in day-out to our students the importance and benefits of being eco-friendly.
So what does having LEED Certification mean for the school? Far from just being a certificate that proves the facility is environmentally sound, it is a testament to the success of the school’s strengthening belief in fostering a good conscience towards our planet. A LEED Certification means we have a high-tech, creative, innovative and sustainable campus; an inspirational example for other schools to follow, proving that LEED is not only for giant corporate offices and shopping centers.