Sustainable/High Performance

LEED Platinum High School

The Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy achieved the coveted LEED Platinum status through innovative and sensitive response to USBGC goals. To achieve this certification, the design team aggressively gained credits through design and planning in all categories. The team also incorporated in the building and site visible environmental elements for promoting sustainable practices.

Sustainable Sites

STR created abundant open spaces, including rain gardens for on-site storm water control, green roofs with bird habitat space, a community gardening area, a reading garden for studying, and a learning garden for student and public observation of nature. Paved surfaces are lightly colored to reflect heat, and the parking lot features permeable pavers. Site lighting is kept to the minimum needed for safety. STR earned the majority of the available Sustainable Sites credits, including those for brownfield redevelopment, development density, and alternative transportation.

Water Efficiency

Landscaping is low maintenance and requires no irrigation. Low-flow fixtures are featured in showers, water closets, and urinals, with an expected 40% reduction in water use. The school’s pool boasts an innovative back-flush system to reduce water waste from pool use The STR-Designed sculptural cistern with cascading water elements allows students and public to learn about water conservation. Non-potable water diverted from the roof to the cistern serves community garden plots.

Energy and Atmosphere

The building’s energy usage is reduced through a 174-well geo-thermal exchange system. This is combined with an innovative system of classroom heat-pumps that symbiotically share heating and cooling loads. Solar thermal heating elements on the roof warm the pool water. Efficient lighting and daylight harvesting controls cut energy consumption further.

Materials and Resources

Diversion of construction waste greatly reduced the building’s initial waste footprint, while a focus on recycled and regional materials increases the school’s sustainable profile.

Indoor Environmental Quality

STR enlarged classroom window openings from the prototype design to welcome more daylight into the spaces. Low-emitting products throughout the building contribute to a healthier indoor environment. Also creating a better environment are CPS’s green cleaning methods, which help to improve air quality over time.

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