Creating North Carolina's First LEED Platinum-Awarded Elementary School

Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools Northside Elementary School

Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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This 100,000-square-foot school is at the heart of its neighborhood and is home to 585 students. Our Building Systems Group teamed to provide Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical engineering services to the architects during the school’s design, with a focal point on sustainable technologies to achieve their desired LEED Platinum certification. As a result, Northside was the fourth LEED Platinum elementary school built in the country, and the first in North Carolina. Large windows in the classrooms provide natural light for the students and teachers, and a building dashboard is located in the media center accessible to teachers who can integrate the facility’s water and power usage into their lesson plans.

The design takes advantage of sustainable highlights such as a garden roof area connected to the adjacent science classroom and a comprehensive stormwater management plan that includes an underground rainwater cistern for supplying water to the toilet fixtures and the cooling tower, pervious pavers and porous playground surfaces. Carefully designed windows, tubular skylights, and light shelves are also put to use for both maximizing daylight in classrooms and reducing the energy spent for lighting.