Skip navigation
Environmental Studies building at California high school earns LEED platinum rating (w/ VIDEO) Bishop O'Dowd High School

Environmental Studies building at California high school earns LEED platinum rating (w/ VIDEO)

5,000-square-foot facility at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland opened in 2014.

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:

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.