HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Valor Christian High School is the first private high school in the state to receive a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to school officials.
Adorned with brick and stone, the campus was designed to accommodate up to 1,200 students in 9th through 12th grade. It was designed to conserve energy and was constructed with recycled materials, among other environmentally friendly features.
A football stadium completed in May 2008 is also expected to meet LEED Gold standards when the U.S. Green Building Council completes its review of the project.
Both facilities cost $5.5 million. There are also plans to build a performing and visual arts building that is expected to cost $18 million.
“The intent of the design was to create a campus that reflects Valor’s mission of excellence and underscores its commitment to be a good steward of the land,” says Adele Willson, principal of project architect Slaterpaull Architects.
The campus includes water-efficient landscaping, including synthetic turf, that is designed to reduce irrigation by 50 percent.
A quarter of the light fixtures inside classrooms are controlled by sensors on the exterior of the buildings that adjust light output based on the amount of daylight available in the rooms. A central system controls all lighting and can be set to limit how much artificial light is allowed at any time.
More than 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and sent to recycling programs and 20 percent of materials used during construction were made from recycled materials. The school is designed to use half as much energy as a standard public school, saving an estimated $65,000 a year, according to planners.
“I believe that our investment in sustainable design and construction offers a unique resource to our students as they advance in academics, perform in the arts and compete in athletics,” says Shannon L. Dreyfuss, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the school.