Green Initiative

We are extremely proud that our new building was designed similar to that of an LEED Silver building, if we were to undergo the certification process. Some key aspects are:

  • Rain gardens were installed, re-introducing native plant species in specific areas and helping both the quality and the quantity of the storm water collected on site. We are likely surpassing local regulations. We were also able to reuse the existing storm water collection basin rather than having to land for a brand new basin.
  • The cyclical nature of the compost, garden, and greenhouse, all being located near the kitchen, will provide solar benefits for year-round use.
  • Solar panels will provide 85% of our electric use, and we have made choices throughout the building to utilize electricity instead of fossil fuels wherever possible.
  • An interactive Solar Monitoring System with weather station was installed to allow students to monitor energy produced by the 500 solar panels located on the roof of the school, as well as see how weather and time of day effect the production of solar power.
  • We harvested on-site materials such as trees for use as site “furniture” and boulders to be used as retaining walls.
  • The existing concrete building was demolished and pulverized, and the crushed concrete was used as a sub-base for the new parking areas. The new parking areas themselves significantly reduce the amount of paved area, which helps reduce storm water runoff and reduces the heat-island effect generated by the asphalt.
  • Solar charged electric car ports were installed for the use of parents and guests who visit the school and have electric cars.
  • The outside wall system is a cutting-edge rain screen design which functions as a sort of “double wall.” The building has a steel frame and a shell that is weather-tight. On the outside of that shell sits the insulation and the rainscreen, which are an added layer to the wall construction. This allows for any moisture that might normally collect INSIDE the wall, to be collected OUTSIDE the weathertight shell and disperse into the air. This will avoid a lot of the mold, mildew, and moisture issues that we see in a lot of buildings in the northeast.
  • Most of our interior materials, including the carpet tile, vinyl flooring, and some of the trim is made from a high percentage of recycled material.
  • A steel frame was chosen for the building, which is one of the greener structural products for large buildings. Modern steel is typically 25% recycled steel, which outperforms stone or wood.
  • The building uses mineral wool for all of its insulation instead of expanded polystyrene foam or fiberglass. Mineral wool is generally 66-75% recycled content made from “waste slag,” which is a byproduct of iron/steel manufacturing.
  • The building was optimized in terms of site orientation, both to make the solar panels work at a greater efficiency and to provide as much usable natural light into the building as possible. That translates to less artificial lighting needed.
  • A small footprint was achieved by making the building two stories. Had we put all 48,000 SF on one floor, the impact to the site would be severe. In addition, we created multi-purpose functions of some of the spaces. The gym and auditorium are the same space, rather than two separate rooms. This means a smaller footprint for the building and less impact on the site.