MILWAUKEE – Lake Mills Elementary School has achieved LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) designed the 600-student, two-story building on the existing site. The district’s goal was to make sure the facility would ensure sustainable design and include energy efficient options. This goal matches the passion of EUA’s Learning Environment team of creating innovative, modern learning environments for today’s students. To reach this goal, the project participated as a beta test for the new LEED v4 pilot program. As the first school to earn Platinum under this new rating system, Lake Mills Elementary School can claim to be the greenest school in the nation.
Based on community feedback, Lake Mills decided to pursue replacing the existing elementary school and the $18.7 million referendum was passed in November 2012.
Features of the new Lake Mills Elementary School that led to its Platinum Certified achievement include:
- White roof membrane for reduced solar heat in the gym
- Solar hot water panels to supplement traditional water heating equipment
- Photovoltaic panels that produce 13,000+ kWh of energy per year
- A green roof filled with vegetation trays for water absorption, visual interest and a learning opportunity
- Closed-loop geothermal system providing 100% of the school’s heating/cooling
- Bike racks provided by local artisan for community involvement and promotion of alternative transportation
- Building envelope to ensure moisture is kept out and conditioned air in
- Daylighting into the center of the building through large exterior windows and glass wall sections on the interior
- Touchscreens to allow students to interact with and see how their school’s sustainable features impact energy use
Lake Mills Elementary School has also won Outstanding Project from Learning By Design (2015), Green Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education (2015), Se2 Award of Excellence from USGBC Wisconsin (2015) and 2015 Best Projects from Engineering News Record.