Northland Pines High School is the first LEED gold-certified public high school in the United States. The $26.2 million, 251,000-square-foot high school, serving up to 600 students, opened for the 2006-07 school year.
Specifically, the components of high-efficiency low lighting, daylighting and an efficient HVAC system will provide an indoor environment that is CAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$104.18FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio conducive to learning, comfortable and energy-efficient. Other sustainable-design features include low-VOC paints, adhesives and carpeting; the use of materials with recycled content; and plumbing fixtures that conserve water. Efficiently designed mechanical and lighting systems, along with higher insulation standards, will provide energy savings of 40 percent compared with conventional construction.
Recycled materials constitute nearly 25 percent of the total building material cost for the new high school, and 83 percent of all building wastes were recycled, including those from demolition of the 27-year-old structure it replaced.
A crew of Amish workers reclaimed large laminated beams, and removed and remilled wood flooring that now will enhance other building projects. Old brick and mortar were ground up and used in the road bed and under parking lots.
One challenge was designing the new facility around the original school and then constructing the new building while the old one was occupied by students and staff. However, the district realized that constructing a healthful, high-performance building on the same site as the former high school ensures that energy-saving ideas put into place in the beginning will have a positive economic impact on the operational and maintenance costs over the life of the building.
Other features include general and specialized classrooms, band and choir rooms, a media and technology center, 750-seat auditorium, 200-meter regulation indoor track and four full-sized basketball courts. A highlight is the new fieldhouse with seating capacity for 2,600 people—one of the largest in the state.