Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Heights High School Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

Aerial of Heights High SchoolMay 25, 2018 -- The newly-renovated Heights High School building has earned LEED Gold certification.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Heights High earned 63 points out of a possible 110, to achieve the second-highest level of certification. Platinum is the highest level, following by Gold, Silver, and Certified. View Heights High School's LEED Scorecard.

Sustainability was a priority for the CH-UH community in the Heights High renovation project. Earning LEED Gold certification is a well-deserved product of those efforts.

A key sustainability feature is Heights High School’s hybrid geothermal system, which allowed the District to meet both sustainability and financial goals. Geothermal systems leverage the earth’s natural properties in order to heat and cool buildings. By using a hybrid system, the school can achieve approximately 90% of the energy savings of a full geothermal system, for approximately 60% of the cost.

The school’s sustainability also extends beyond the geothermal system:
  • In the natatorium, the waste heat from the pool’s HVAC unit, rather than being exhausted outside, is used to heat the pool water,
  • The design incorporates interior and exterior LED lighting, and
  • The project team improved the envelope, provided triple-paned operable windows in classrooms, and incorporated sawtooth skylights into center science classrooms.

Heights High is projected to have annual energy consumption savings of:

  • 38% in total energy consumption savings,
  • 42% in interior lighting energy, and
  • 61% in exterior lighting energy.

“On behalf of the U.S. Green Building Council, I congratulate you on achieving LEED certification for Cleveland Heights High School,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President & CEO of U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification Inc., in a letter to CH-UH Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon. “LEED certification identifies Cleveland Heights High School as a showcase example of sustainability and demonstrates your leadership in transforming the building industry.”

The newly-renovated Heights High School opened in August 2017 after two years of construction. The District renovated the original 1926, 134,000-square foot school building and placed it at the center of the design. It is flanked by 216,000 square feet of new construction.

Karpinski Engineering (KE) provided mechanical, electrical, technology, and lighting design; security engineering; and energy modeling for the project. KE recently won an Outstanding Achievement Award from ACEC Ohio for their contributions to the project.

View text-based website