First in Armenia LEED Certification and Earth Designation Awarded to AMAA’s Avedisian School in Yerevan

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PARAMUS, NJ – The Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian Faculty and Group Middle, situated in the Malatia-Sebastia District of Yerevan, Armenia and operated by the Armenian Missionary Affiliation of America (AMAA), has been awarded a Silver LEED Certification – the first building within the Republic of Armenia to realize such an award. The Faculty was also awarded the LEED Earth Designation, given only to the very first constructing challenge in every creating country to fulfill the USGBC LEED criteria.

LEED, (Management in Power and Environmental Design) is an ecology-oriented building certification program run beneath the sponsorship of the USA Inexperienced Constructing Council (USGBC), headquartered in Washington, DC. Based on Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of the USGBC, “the LEED Certification identifies the AMAA Avedisian Faculty as a showcase example of sustainability and demonstrates the AMAA’s management in reworking the building business. The USGBC congratulates the AMAA Avedisian Faculty on earning the LEED Certification and thanks you on your dedication to our widespread objective of constructing a healthy, sustainable future.”

The Avedisian Faculty was based in 1998 as a tuition-free kindergarten for college kids from economically deprived houses. The brand new Okay-12 faculty complicated features a group middle and the Krikor and Beatrice Bilezikian Building; it opened on September 1, 2014. It was the dream of AMAA Benefactor and Board Member Edward Avedisian of Lexington, Mass. to build a faculty to honor his Genocide survivor mother and father, Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian, who had positioned a particularly excessive value on schooling all through their lives. The varsity, with a current enrollment of 552 students and 50 kindergarten college students, supplies a free schooling for economically disadvantaged youngsters from the Malatia-Sebastia district. It is operated by the AMAA and conforms to the usual of schooling as set forth by the Armenian Ministry of Schooling.

“The thought of the Avedisian Faculty and Group Middle came from the American and German missionaries working in Western Armenia who offered free tuition and board for college kids in the course of the mid-19th and 20th centuries,” stated Avedisian. “My mother was a type of fortunate sufficient to receive this schooling. We determined to convey that same concept to the current but with an ultra-modern constructing based mostly on sustainable power in the Yerevan Valley the place pollution was uncontrolled and high incidences of most cancers had been noted for many years. After being invited to a meeting with the United Nations Improvement Program in New York, our sustainable power skilled, Armen Gharibyan, and I have been offered funding to go to the new UN European Headquarters Building in Copenhagen to see if we might get some new ideas from their large ecological masterpiece. As it turned out, Armen knew at the least as much as their specialists, and we returned to Yerevan with renewed confidence within the challenge. At present, the Avedisian Faculty’s new strategy to building utilizing sustainable power has captivated both the federal government and the public so much in order that a whole business is rising rapidly and providing many good paying jobs for these working in the business. What began as a small step to the longer term, mixed with over 300 sunny days a yr in Armenia, supplies the catalyst for Armenia to realize over 50 % of its power wants within the next 10 years. That, I’m confident, shall be one other first on the earth. A serious profit can be an awesome discount in cancer charges because the carbon dioxide discount will present for much lowered pollution. Add to that the joy of seeing Ararat for a lot of the daylight will make my day and yours for positive.”

Joseph Zeronian, Ed.D., former President of the AMAA Board of Administrators in the course of the building of the Avedisian Faculty in 2014, stated, “It’s gratifying to see the Avedisian Faculty gaining honors within the motherland. The Faculty has met and exceeded the hopes and goals of its founders and the Board of the AMAA that endorsed its establishment.”

The Avedisian Faculty’s constructing workforce included Senior Technical Advisor/Architect Ronald Altoon, Architect Isahak Nersisyan, Development Supervisor Faraj Yeretsian, LEED Marketing consultant/Solar Power Design and Implementation Marketing consultant Dr. Armen Gharibyan, LEED Marketing consultant AJB Inc., Conservation Advisor Dr. Kenell Touryan, AMAA, LEED and USGBC Liaison Richard Youatt and Authorized Counsels Peter Kougasian, Esq. and Jeanmarie Papelian, Esq.

“From begin to end, this was a concerted staff effort,” stated Altoon. “Every position was important, each challenge met head on. Armenia, beneath the Soviet system, was unaccustomed to addressing environmental or sustainable design points so we have been confronted with many challenges. When Mr. Avedisian approached me about engaged on this undertaking, I recommended that we settle for the problem to design the Faculty to develop into LEED Certified. This was not a simple process to make certain. Mr. Avedisian turned the champion of the LEED Certification aim. He advocated for this to the AMAA Board and sustained his dedication all through the process. After our very difficult LEED journey, we’ve got fulfilled our unique imaginative and prescient. Not solely have we achieved LEED Silver, but in addition LEED Earth.” 

“The LEED Certification exhibits how the Avedisian Faculty matches into the global sustainability movement and how the AMAA is a vital innovator and leader not solely inside Armenia but inside the area and globally,” stated Youatt. “Mr. Avedisian played an important position within the transformation from the quick post-Soviet era to the current. His broad imaginative and prescient for rebuilding Armenia’s complete instructional system and his early give attention to LEED Certification have been visionary at a time when Yerevan was ‘on its knees’ with water and power shortages.”

The varsity’s development course of introduced a brand new development culture in Armenia by holding all the local and worldwide environmental legal guidelines and requirements. The varsity achieved LEED credit for assembly necessities of making use of efficient heating, ventilation and air con techniques, introducing a singular system of solar scorching water, utilizing correct polyurethane thermal insulation ranges, making use of environment friendly LED lighting and a proper architectural design with appropriately chosen windows and partitions. The varsity also used mild colors on the roof, developed plenty of green areas which mirror the photo voltaic irradiation as nature, put in rainfall collection areas underground, recycled concrete waste to make concrete tiles and used environmentally friendly supplies for finishing, indoor air quality and natural lighting.  

“The Avedisian Faculty is a source of great delight for the AMAA in Armenia for a lot of reasons,” stated Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, President of the AMAA’s Board of Directors. “The standard of schooling could be very excessive compared to different faculties within the space and the Faculty supplies an schooling tuition free in an space that houses families with modest means. Virtually all the graduates have pursued larger schooling in the local schools and universities. At the similar time, the Avedisian Faculty building serves as a lesson to Armenia’s architects and designers on learn how to construct a structure that is lovely and yet efficient in using power and natural assets. This is of utmost strategic significance for a rustic that should import sources of power from different nations. Our congratulations and special because of Ed Avedisian and Ron Altoon for this accomplishment.”

Funding for the LEED Certification course of was generously offered to the AMAA by the John Mirak Foundation of Massachusetts. The Mirak family’s basis has committed to preserving Armenia by funding organizations that target issues surrounding the surroundings, the welfare of youngsters, autism, poverty discount and schooling in any respect ranges. 

“Once we have been approached by Ed to assist fund the new faculty, he gave us a number of naming alternatives,” stated Julia Mirak, Trustee of the John Mirak Basis. “Lots of them concerned funding infrastructure or enjoying fields, but the concept of funding the LEED Certification course of was immediately engaging to us. Not only wouldn’t it assist the current students and school by providing a more inviting environment during which to study and train, but the methods that have been being proposed would improve the neighborhood for generations to return. Our household is proud to have been capable of assist make the varsity a beacon in Armenia for sustainability, power conservation, pollution management and environmental schooling and duty.” 

The Armenia Tree Challenge (ATP), a corporation headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts that has been working to guard Armenia’s setting since 1994, also collaborated on the environmental schooling curriculum at the Avedisian Faculty which helped secure the LEED Certification.  One of many faculty’s tasks funded by the ATP has been the green roof gardens which function grasses, timber and vegetables planted atop the building which give insulation, decrease heating and cooling costs. Additionally it is used as a hands-on educating device for conservation as the scholars assist look after the crops and observe their progress.

“My first visit to the Avedisian Faculty was in 2009 once I visited the previous campus in Malatia-Sepastia,” stated Papelian. “Despite the challenges posed by the unfortunate state of the constructing, Avedisian Faculty principal Melanya Geghamyan ensured that the scholars excelled in every space. I additionally discovered on that trip that one of many faculty’s science academics had acquired training on environmental schooling from the Armenia Tree Venture and was incorporating it into her lessons. Once I was an AMAA Board member, I was concerned with plans for the brand new campus, and we had many discussions on easy methods to develop a green faculty. The constructing itself is a large element; it needed to be environmentally-friendly in fact, but Mr. Avedisian and principal Geghamyan additionally felt that the scholars ought to be engaged in studying to protect and shield the setting.

In the present day, five years after the brand new campus opened its doorways, we will observe that it really is a inexperienced faculty. More than 400 timber and shrubs surround the campus, many planted by the scholars with help from the ATP. College students plant and look after greens on one of many faculty’s green roof areas. Additionally they create compost from cafeteria scraps, recycle paper and compete to see who can make the most artistic artwork from discarded gadgets. The ATP acknowledges the Avedisian Faculty as a outstanding companion faculty – every time ATP needs to pilot a brand new program or venture in its environmental schooling curriculum, Principal Geghamyan welcomes our educators. And, it’s nice fun for college kids to visit ATP’s nursery in Karin Village and plant timber every spring. It’s fitting that the Avedisian Faculty has acquired the primary LEED Certification in the area. It sets the instance for a way faculties might help develop the subsequent era of environmental stewards. Congratulations to the staff who made this certification occur. I’m proud to be related to such a nice establishment.” 

 “The United Nations Improvement Committee (UNDP) was additionally impressed by the Avedisian Faculty,” added Youatt. “A website go to by a UNDP representative in the course of the faculty’s development and a gathering with Mr. Avedisian left the consultant with a really constructive impression of the visionary, yet sensible, power efficient design of the Avedisian Faculty. The UNDP subsequently offered some material help for the development and noticed the undertaking as inspirational for different nations and cities addressing comparable challenges as those faced by the varsity.”

The scholars at The Avedisian Faculty have tremendously benefited from the wholesome and sustainable surroundings at the Faculty, the place they attend courses in math, language, science, geography, computers, art, music, crafts and physical schooling. They’ve excelled in lots of areas serving to the varsity win many awards, together with nationwide chess and debate competitions. The varsity has additionally gained several prestigious awards together with first place in Nationwide Russian Language Competency, first place in Nationwide French Competency and a gold medal for Greatest Faculty Administration. Since 2015 the Avedisian Faculty has had 62 highschool graduates. This yr all the 31 graduates have been admitted to greater instructional establishments together with American University of Armenia, French University of Armenia Basis, University of Overseas Languages, Pedagogical University of Armenia, Engineering University of Armenia, Armenian State University of Economics, Armenian Medical College, Armenian Conservatorie, Yerevan State College and Russian-Slavonic University.

“The Avedisian Faculty has additionally benefited from the LEED Certification when it comes to being probably the most unique environmentally pleasant building not solely in Armenia but in addition in the whole South Caucasus Area,” stated Geghamyan. “The whole building is an environmental laboratory. The scholars have been taught methods to differentiate between litter and recyclables, classify garbage into special bins for paper, plastic and litter, how you can save water, and plant and look after timber and crops because of the inexperienced roofs. Due to the LEED Certification and the eco-project carried out at college, the students study composting and the way vital it is to reap the benefits of enriching the soil with the principle of ‘zero waste.’”

AMAA-Armenia Representative Harout Nercessian added that “as a Christian organization, the AMAA cares deeply concerning the setting and protecting God’s land and assets. The Avedisian Faculty and Group Middle educates our students about environmental points both academically and practically and encourages them to undertake eco-friendly habits and promote them among their families and associates. The AMAA’s trailblazing efforts on the Avedisian Faculty have helped promote environmental consciousness among the many students and serves as an inspirational model to different faculties and organizations all through Armenia.”

“The AMAA salutes the pioneering perception of a exceptional group of undertaking house owners and professionals who rose above the price and development issues to be the great stewards of the Creator in securing the LEED Certification and the LEED Earth Designation for the Avedisian Faculty,” stated Zaven Khanjian, Government Director/CEO of the AMAA. “We’ve been entrusted with the welfare of our planet. The benefactors, the AMAA board and administration and the school and college students of the Avedisian Faculty are taking excellent care of Armenia’s ecology whereas they toil to offer an environmentally sustainable homeland for the enjoyment of generations to return.”

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