The Center for Environmental Studies at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif., has received a LEED platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Construction of the 5,000-square-foot center was completed in 2014. The facility has two indoor laboratory classrooms, outdoor classroom space, restrooms and an office, and boasts expansive views of San Francisco Bay. A platinum rating is the highest level of recognition in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. The center received 87 points out of a possible 110.
"Receiving LEED platinum certification at this time puts O’Dowd at the forefront of schools committed to sustainability, as only 2 percent of all schools nationally have achieved any level of LEED certification on their campuses," says O’Dowd Sustainability Director Andra Yeghoian.
Some of the sustainable elements in the center:
- An in-floor radiant heating system, which recirculates heated water through tubes embedded in the concrete.
- Natural ventilation openings and overhead cooling fans that keep rooms comfortable without the need for an electrical air conditioning system.
- One-third of the entire electrical demand for the center comes from the sun through a series of photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof.
- Building systems are monitored and displayed in real-time on a dashboard screen mounted on the terrace, and the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing system control room is accessible for instructors to use the building as a teaching tool.
- A 4,300-gallon rain water harvesting system that reduces domestic water consumption.
Bishop O'Dowd High is a Catholic school with an enrollment of about 1,200 students.
Video: A tour of Bishop O'Dowd High's Center for Environmental Studies: