Condit Elementary School in Bellaire, Texas, has received LEED Silver certification for its energy-saving design and construction.
The Houston Independent School District says the $24.3 million, 83,000-square-foot building opened in 2016 as a replacement campus for the old Condit school.
“LEED certification is no small feat,” says Dan Bankhead, the district's general manager of facilities design. “When a design team is able to meet the rigorous requirements for LEED Silver, that says a lot about them.”
HISD now has 24 schools that are LEED certified; 10 have LEED Silver certifications, and one — Cunningham Elementary — is Gold certified.
Bankhead says LEED certification is also important because sustainable buildings ensure that schools are more healthful, more productive, cost less, and create less stress on the environment.
The Condit facility features a centralized learning commons surrounded by a two-story cluster of classrooms and innovative 21st-century design elements with bright colors, curved walls with seating nooks, and plenty of natural light.
The design enables the building itself to be used as a teaching tool by integrating relics from the original school and incorporating wall graphics along with a sundial-like feature to illustrate the seasons using sunlight from windows.
Other LEED design elements in the school include daylighting in all classrooms, high-efficiency air conditioning and heating systems, acoustical panels with soft materials to absorb noise, and the use of low-maintenance building materials.
The architect is VLK Architects.