St. Catherine's Montessori received official LEED Certification in May 2006, making it the first and only LEED certified K-12 school in Texas. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, and operation of high-performance “green” buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED Certified buildings:
- are leading the transformation of the built environment
- are built as designed and perform as expected
- have lower operating costs and increased asset value
- are healthy and comfortable for their occupants
- reduce waste sent to landfills
- conserve energy and water
- reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances, and other incentives in hundreds of cities
- demonstrate an owner's commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility
St. Catherine's new facility was carefully designed and constructed to include several features that better serve the environment and meet LEED requirements. Features include water use reduction, storm water management, energy from 100% renewable resources, use of recycled materials, construction waste management, and green housekeeping.
St. Catherine's new building and campus are the end-result of a 5-year capital campaign. The building’s architect was Houstonian, Kerry Gingrich, and Durotech served as General Contractor. Founded in 1966, St. Catherine's Montessori is Houston’s only Catholic Montessori school, serving close to 300 students, ages 14 months through 15 years old.