T.A. Brown Elementary School Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification

An Austin ISD school received top recognition for its design and construction that emphasized sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

On May 6, the U.S. Green Building Council announced that it has awarded T.A. Brown Elementary School the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, developed by the USGBC, is the most widely used green building rating system globally and an international symbol of excellence. Through design, construction and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.

"We are proud to announce that T.A. Brown Elementary has received its LEED Gold certification,” said Drew Johnson, Austin ISD’s director of bond planning. “T.A. Brown’s motto, 'A Green School rooted in STEAM and Outdoor Learning,' became the foundation for the vision that the Project Team carried through design completion. This certification highlights our commitment to 21st century learning spaces that connect education with sustainability and encourage a future of environmental stewardship."

T.A. Brown achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Green buildings allow schools to operate more sustainably and creates a healthier, more comfortable space for students.

The newly constructed school opened in January 2020 and was the first modernization project completed as part of the 2017 Bond Program. It was designed as a green campus rooted in science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics and outdoor learning.

The facility features natural resources such as rain that is turned into steam, which reduces energy use for heating and cooling. Other indoor and outdoor features include a nature loop trail, nature playscape, dry creek bed, learning pond, water cistern, condensate water reuse, and daylighting by using natural sunlight to provide internal lighting.

“T.A. Brown’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize our buildings and communities by providing everyone with access to healthy, green and high-performing buildings. T.A. Brown is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.” 

Certification is proof that buildings are going above and beyond to ensure space is constructed and operated to the highest level of sustainability. These practices have a dramatic effect on measurable academic outcomes and health indicators among faculty and students alike.

Austin ISD began green building with the 2004 Bond program and anticipates a total of 48 certified green buildings in the district by the end of the 2017 Bond program. All major renovations and new construction projects are targeted for green building certifications by LEED and Austin Energy Green Building. T.A. Brown is also awaiting certification by the Austin Energy Green Building.

T. A. Brown’s dedication to sustainability education is helping students understand the relationships between people and our environment and prepares them for the future to become leaders and change-makers within the community.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a healthy, resilient and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and forward-thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.