LEED Silver for University School

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Centerbrook Architects & Planners has added to its portfolio of sustainable projects with the LEED® Silver certification of the Academic & Science Wing at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio.

Following Centerbrook’s master plan for University School, the Academic & Science Wing was one of two new construction projects for the Upper School campus. The three-story, 52,000-square-foot building houses spacious classrooms, labs and meeting spaces for five different academic disciplines.

“An academic LEED building can be particularly satisfying, infusing the education with the sustainable and teaching outside the classroom with the building itself,” said Centerbrook partner Mark Simon, FAIA. “University School has a splendid 100-plus year history of experiential learning – boys making things. Seeing what something is made of leads to thinking about how and why – eliciting curiosity about almost everything. We eagerly built on that tradition.

To that point, Simon explained, “The overall narrow orientation and deep windows maximize daylight without overheating. The exposed concrete structure and open-grid ceilings store thermal energy to minimize heating and cooling. The pond loop geothermal system is an affordable energy-saver, plus an exciting teaching tool.”

“Sustainability continues to be an important theme for University School,” said Headmaster Richard Bryan. “We were able to add 50,000 square feet with no increase in energy costs thanks to the creative solutions provided by Centerbrook. The quality of the space is also an important factor in maximizing teaching and learning. Students and teachers express how appreciative they are to have such compelling learning spaces.”

The building’s features tallied 56 points on the LEED scale to earn BD+C (Building Design + Construction) Silver, including 16 out of a possible 19 for optimizing energy performance. The project also earned two-thirds of the points available in the indoor environmental quality and innovation categories.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, University School’s Academic & Science Wing is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

The Academic & Science Wing is the 17th project designed by Centerbrook to earn LEED certification. An additional seven are currently slated for LEED.

The LEED certification system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000. Short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED-certified buildings are found in all 50 states and in more than 164 countries and territories.