LEED Gold Certification for New Heights High School

Heights High School earns LEED Gold Certifications

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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