LEED BD+C: Schools v2007
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
LEED Gold 2013
In addition to refreshing classrooms and corridors, providing greater internal transparency and enlivening common areas, the renovation of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School complex aligns with the Cambridge’s ambitious sustainability goals through substantial reductions in energy consumption and water use, and increases in indoor air quality and daylighting
Driven by the need to replace failing roofing and aging mechanical systems, an initial design was developed on this 400,000 sf, multi-building high school in 2003. When design resumed in 2006 after a funding moratorium, local interest in sustainable design and educational effectiveness led to a closer look at interior and exterior conditions and a more comprehensive renovation approach. In addition to refreshing classrooms and corridors, providing greater internal transparency and enlivening common areas, the renovation of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School complex aligns with the Cambridge’s ambitious sustainability goals through substantial reductions in energy consumption and water use, and increases in indoor air quality and daylighting.
As the city’s only public high school, CRLS, built in 1931 and expanded in 1977, serves 1,700 students and regularly hosts community and public events. The school shares its urban city block with two other city-owned buildings – War Memorial Recreation Center, also recently renovated by HMFH Architects, and the Cambridge Public Library – both of which are LEED Silver certified projects and serve as resources for the local community and students at CRLS.
The sustainable design measures exceeded the city’s initial goals, earning the project LEED Gold certification and underscoring the efforts of both the city and the design team to manage resource use, modernize municipal facilities and provide a healthy learning environment for all students. The sustainability improvements for the complex include a chilled beam HVAC system–well-suited to incorporation in existing concrete frame buildings—and a rooftop photovoltaic array. These retrofits, coupled with high-efficiency lighting that maximizes daylight, contribute to the school’s net energy savings, lowering the operating costs by more than $335,000 annually, and reducing energy use by more than 1.3 million KWh and nearly 44,000 therms of natural gas.
Monitors in the lobby displaying real-time energy data and a small rooftop garden tie environmental stewardship to the curriculum and provide educational opportunities. Other visible features include low-flow fixtures that provide an annual savings of 1.3 million gallons of water, operable windows, and an extensive array of heavily-used bike racks. Beneath the playground for the school’s onsite daycare center, a rainwater collection tank stores runoff from the roof and is used to irrigate the landscaping, eliminating potable water use. As one of only a handful of renovation projects to achieve LEED Gold, the project validates a city-wide commitment to environmental stewardship.