The Big Horn County School District No. 3 built a new Greybull Elementary School to replace the former school building, which was built in 1919. The old Greybull Elementary School building, now a historic property, had very high energy bills (reaching $50,000 per year), poor indoor air quality, and minimal daylighting. The new school was designed and built to achieve LEED-Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Schools program (LEED NC, Version 2.1). As the first LEED Certified School in Wyoming, Greybull Elementary demonstrates how a high performance school can be constructed, built and operated with reduced environmental impacts and energy costs, while offering a healthy, productive learning environment.
Located in Greybull, WY, the elementary school was completed in August 2007 with a total project cost of $8 million for the 36,000 square foot facility ($222 per square foot). The Wyoming Energy Office paid for the LEED Certification costs at Greybull Elementary. The school is designed to achieve nearly a 50% reduction in energy costs compared to a typical school built to current energy code requirements.
Below is a list of sustainable design features, organized by LEED category. The school achieved 38 points, making it eligible for LEED Silver Certification.
- Building materials were sourced from nearby suppliers and sustainable sources.
- Water conserving fixtures are used in bathrooms, faucets and the cafeteria kitchen.
- The school features a geothermal exchange system for heating and cooling, combined with a well-insulated building envelope and energy efficient windows.
- Natural daylighting is used in 85% of the interior spaces, including all classrooms, the cafeteria and multi-purpose room, and gymnasium. Indoor lighting levels are designed to automatically adjust based on the level of naturally available daylight.
- High efficiency fluorescent fixtures (T5 and T5HO indirect luminaires) are installed in classrooms, offices, and corridors with occupancy sensors throughout the building. The construction specifications restricted the use of carpets, glues or other components with high quantities of certain chemicals, to protect indoor air quality.
- The school will recycle plastic, paper, glass, cardboard and metal, even serving as a community drop-off point for community recyclables.
- Educational information is provided for students, including exposed piping and mechanical systems with labels to illustrate energy efficient features.
The School has raised awareness among teachers, students and staff about the importance of conserving resources and protecting the environment. It has also served as a model for future school projects in other Wyoming School Districts, and surrounding states.