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Cultivating Young Minds: A Net-Zero School for Tomorrow’s Leaders

GBCI: 0090010900

Through a series of interviews with the school faculty and the design team, we explore the creation of a net-zero-energy building that complements the children's studies of the balance of nature.
Eligible for 1 CE HOUR.
  • 1 CE

  • LEED Green Associate
  • LU/HSW

LEED version: v4, v2009

Published on: January 13, 2014

Average: 4.8 (23 votes)


A new Music and Science complex was added to the Hood River Middle School in 2010, earning LEED Platinum certification. Through a series of interviews with the school faculty and the design team, we explore the creation of a net-zero-energy building that complements the children's studies of the balance of nature. Course participants will learn how the project integrated several strategies to create learning opportunities for students to achieve the 'School as a Teaching Tool' credit with one of the most robust sustainable curricula in the world.

The school extends its sustainable education to the community, earning the project another innovation credit for 'Green Building Education'.

The intended audience for this video course include design professionals who work on K-12 projects, school teachers and administrators, and anyone interested in how green buildings can be used as teaching tools to increase occupant and community awareness of environmental issues.


  1. List the requirements for the School as a Teaching Tool credit in LEED for Schools, and describe how the Hood River Middle School integrated them through hands-on learning
  2. Describe the Innovation in Design Green Building Education credit that the HoodRiver Middle School, and differentiate it from the School as a Teaching Tool credit
  3. Relate the synergies amongst the education and participation of the students (ID c3) with Optimizing Energy Performance (EAc1) and On-Site Renewable Energy (EAc2)
  4. Explain strategies used in the project for water efficiency, reduction of material use and enhancing the indoor environment
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Created by

GreenCE, Inc.
San Antonio, TX
United States

USGBC Education Partners are leaders and trusted voices and reputable providers of green building and sustainability education. Learn more
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13 commentsLeave a comment

Water Resources Engineer, CH2M HILL

Well done and inspirational. This hour went quickly; I could have watched more!

Capital Improvement Program Officer, Prince Georges County Public Schools

Great net zero school and video

Associate, HKS, Inc.

Entertaining, Educational, and Inspiring. Makes me want a greenhouse.

Sustainability Engineer

Very inspiring

Environmental Engineer, LEED AP, USGBC Faculty, Jain Engineering Consultants Intl.
Pro Reviewer

This course exactly met the objectives mentioned above and is very useful not only for designers. It’s also recommended for school owners, principals, teachers.
This course included different project stakeholders other than the main design team. it’s very useful to show how the school team members were directly involved in the integrative design process.
the course structure similar to a documentary was very informative because it displayed actual strategies implemented on a school site related to optimizing energy performance, water efficiency , use of materials project-based learning.

Senior Architect, Leidos

Interesting and educational - excellent LEED specific course

AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner, Fredette Architects, PLLC
Pro Reviewer

Structured as a documentary, this informative case study is comprised of a series of concise video interviews with four key project stakeholders. I appreciate this format because it illustrates the diverse perspectives and expertise among project team members.

In addition to the architects’ clear descriptions of the design process and integrative strategies, (as the course name suggests) the school principal and science teacher explain the larger context of the campus, values, goals, integrative curriculum and project-based learning … as drivers of the design. Beyond LEED CMP, this video merits a wider audience including school boards, principals and teachers in other communities, who may relate to and learn much from their counterparts in this video.


Excellent educational experience. This should be shared across the Nation.

LEED Fellow - Principal, The Spinnaker Group
Pro Reviewer

Easy to follow and engaging course. Great example of what can be done on a public school project when all stakeholders are focused on a mission of providing the best learning environment for students.


Great video with fantastic speakers.

Site Structural Engineer, Dar Al-Handasah

Inspiring example for schools

GWS - Facilities Project Manager, Johnson Controls, Inc.

If you have an interest in learning more about real-life examples of net-zero buildings, this is an top notch video.

Senior Interior Designer, Stantec Architecture

Educational, easy to follow and thorough. Would like to share this video with the general public, because it is so inspirational, clean, and simple.

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