LEED Gold Certification for New Heights High School

May 23, 2018

Heights High School (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) has earned LEED Gold certification. The school, which serves 1,700+ students, thoughtfully blends new and old. The District renovated the original, 134,000-SF, 1926 school building and placed it at the center of the design. It is flanked by 216,000 SF of new construction. The school includes classrooms and labs, two gyms, a natatorium, an auditorium, art studios, and a media center/library. Heights High opened for the 2017-18 school year.

KE services: MET & Lighting Design; Security Engineering; Energy Modeling
LEED version: LEED BD+C: Schools (v2009)
Building size: 350,000 SF
Project cost: $102.5 million
Energy savings: Projected 38% energy consumption savings
Lighting savings: Projected 42% interior lighting energy consumption savings and 61% exterior lighting energy consumption savings
Why it works: Sustainability was a priority for the community. A key element is the school’s hybrid geothermal system, which heats and cools the building. By using a hybrid system, the school can achieve approximately 90% of the energy savings of a full geothermal system, for approximately 60% of the cost. The school’s sustainability also extends beyond the geothermal system:

  • In the natatorium, the waste heat from the pool’s HVAC unit, rather than being exhausted outside, is used to heat the pool water
  • The design incorporates interior and exterior LED lighting
  • The project team improved the envelope, provided triple-paned operable windows in classrooms, and incorporated sawtooth skylights into center science classrooms

LEED Scorecard

About LEED

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that promotes sustainable building design. Through the LEED program, buildings are evaluated on measures such as energy-efficient building systems, water efficiency, sustainable site strategies, and sustainable building materials. A building can be awarded one of four certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum (the highest).

Karpinski Engineering’s contributions to a building’s LEED certification typically impact its energy and water use – through efficient electrical, lighting, HVAC, and plumbing design.

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