Cultivating Young Minds: A Net-Zero School for Tomorrow’s Leaders | U.S. Green Building Council
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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

Rating system: v4, v2009

Published on: January 13, 2014

Average: 4.8 (85 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

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Total 81 commentsLeave a comment

Architect, Principal, McCreary/Snow Architects, PA

Great history of the design of a living laboratory.

Director EHS & Sustainability, Sustain Inc.

Excellent integrative project and great video presentation about how it all came together!

K12 Manager, The Center for Green Schools, U.S. Green Building Council

Great level of depth in exploring how this school honored the past, its own community and the existing building while engaging students in learning throughout.

Vice President of Project Operations, Gafcon, Inc.

Great presentation on how Net Zero CAN be achieved!

Licensed Architect (Illinois), AECOM

This was exciting and inspirational. A real testament to what can be achieved when we all work together towards common goals.

Architect OAA OAQ MRAIC , Larocque Elder Architects Architectes Inc.

Well presented and very informative. Truly a success story.

Designer, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Great presentation

Facility Asset Strategies
Pro Reviewer

In addition to providing a detailed explanation of the systems, components and details of the Historic Hood River School project, this was an excellent, visually and intellectually stimulating course leaving this student wanting to learn more.

Architect, Cushman & Wakefield

God presentaiotn, good material

Director, Planning and Development, Ryerson University

Well articulated. Worthwhile learning that is applicable to any institutional or community project.

University of Minnesota

This is extremely well done, educational, and inspiring. My only suggestion is that some of the links listed at the end, be included in the preview document so it would be easier to save them for reference.

Director , M Moser Associates

very interesting project to learn

Planner , City of Fort Pierce

Great presentation, very interesting.

Associate, AUTOARCH Architects LLC

The most captivating course from the USGBC website that I've taken so far.

HDR, Inc.

very inspiring learning institution for these young people


Great concept.

City of Golden, Colorado

engaging presentation. Creative project. easy to see the process and student learning.

Senior Mechanical Engineer, DAR

Very interesting and realistic case study

Gordon & Greenberg Architects

Excellent and thought provoking presentation.


Great Class!! As an architect was very helpful to hear about the process and the systems used from the architects and the clients. Wish there were more classes like this one on the usgbc education site, i.e. classes that look closely at one building and hear the personal stories and experiences of the designers and clients about the process and outcome.


Such a cool project! Great to learn about practical applications.

Mechanical Design Engineer, P2S Engineering, Inc.

Inspiring to see such a holistic project!

Associate, U.S. Green Building Council

I loved that this course focused on the design and application strategies beginning with the projects concept phase to it's current/active state. The interviews throughout were also insightful.

Real Estate Sustainability Lead, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Great story. good explanation of the processes, strategies, results, and learnings.

Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems, Inc

Best Presentation of all that I have viewed

Gilbane Building Company

Great course.

Student, Savannah College of Art & Design

Beautiful video! Very inspiring.

Senior Associate, Gensler

Well done and informative. Some interviews with the kids involved in the process would have been great to see as well.

Corporate Sustainability Coordinator, Orlando Utilities Commission

This was a great webinar!

Director of Design and Construction, Live Nation Entertainment

Enjoyed seeing the relationship of children and the design process and understanding the innovation credits

Program Manager, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Very inspirational

Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Informative and a great example of LEED processes to engage community and users, I like how the user group in this case was a bit younger (students!) and still had valuable inputs.

Unemployed, none

I wish I attended this school. I think students and adults would learn greatly from this project given its integrated design and emphasis on education.

Architect , wePresent

a good project to learn from simply amazing.

Project Development Engineer, Ameresco, Inc.

Great course!

Full time student, Columbia University

The project is incredible! Especially the garden which is a great example of ecosystem. It's a good example for not only green building education, but also the ecosystem existing around us. Students' involvement makes this a successful project for School as a Teaching Tool. It's a great course that inspires me about how to educate the young people about the green building.

Project Coordinator, FRCH Design Worldwide

I enjoyed this course. Kept my attention and thoroughly explained how the building reached net zero and LEED Platinum. It is great to hear about how this was able to serve as a teaching tool for students as well.

Sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment, Landscaping Design , F R a C T a L

Great course! I hope that we have this kind of thing in Mexico soon!

Furniture Coordinator, Oracle

Great Course!

Architect, Macro Design Studio Srl

Very clear and inspiring!

Planner / Urban Designer, AECOM

Very interesting and innovative design to achieve LEED and make green building concepts accessible to kids!


Interesting and Informative course

Informative and interesting course

INTERIOR DESIGNER, Santa Monica College

I am getting a notice informing me that the video cannot be played as the file is corrupt. Running Mac Book Pro, Firefox. Tried to watch directly and it kept stopping and starting, so I pressed the down load video button and then got the corrupt file notification. Any ideas?


Very informative and engaging course.

Mechanical Engineer, Cosentini Associates LLP

I am incredibly impressed! As a musician and an engineer this was very interesting to me.

Designer, Gensler

Very interesting and inspiring

Engineer, Architect

Very interesting course! Nice work, designers were able to condense a lot of technology and sustainability solutions in a small project.

Project Manager, Freelance PM

The course is inspiring. As person, I would like that our children could attend a school of this kind so that they grow with LEED's culture as part of their education.

Server/Bartender, Lou Malnati's

Very informative and easy to follow. This should be shared with other educators to be implemented in schools throughout the country.

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