This page is dedicated to the various efforts to green/LEED features of the construction of the new Newton North.
The Greengineers of Newton North will also be writing the LEED curriculum for the entire building.

On 10/2 - the Greengineers and Newton's Green Decade Coalition hosted a Sustainable Buildings Tour of the new Newton North. We shared critical green/LEED information and saw some of the magnificent engineering systems throughout the building.

Feel free to post a discussion point above if you have more information. This is a resource for the entire city. We will be adding photos and more soon...

168 NNHS Solar Panels, 32kW
Rain Water System

Chemical Neutralization

The following information was written by Erik Ruoff, The Green Engineer, the LEED consultant on the new Newton North project

Green/LEED Features:

The city of Newton identified environmental sustainability as an important goal for this project early on. This goal is one that was also shared by the members of the design team. A concentrated effort was made to identify key sustainability goals, and to incorporate design strategies to achieve them.

The design team sought to design and construct a building which minimizes its impact on the environment, while managing and reducing the burden the building will place on City resources and local infrastructure.

Following is a list of both general and more specific sustainable efforts and features that went into the design of the Newton North High School.

General Sustainable Features:

· LEED: The project is pursuing LEED for School certification and is targeting Silver Certification. LEED certification gives a project third party verification from the USGBC that the building is designed and operating as it was intended.

· Feasibility Study of Renewables: The MA Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust Fund funded a feasibility study to assess two renewable energy technologies which may be appropriate for the project. Various photovoltaic and wind technology system options were assessed for their applicability. Life cycle costs and benefits for each potential alternate were calculated. Based on the life-cycle impact and other information found through the study, a recommendation was made as to the viability of wind and photovoltaic viability for the project.

· MTC Grant: The design team helped the City secure a grant from the MA Technology Collaborative Green School Initiative to fund the installation of a photovoltaic array.

· Life Cycle Costing: Extensive life-cycle costing analyses were conducted to study alternative design strategies including: building orientation; HVAC systems; daylight responsive lighting controls; increased insulation; heat recovery in classrooms; improved window performance; cogeneration; solar thermal for DHW; and installation of renewable technologies.

Site Features:

· Use of Existing Site: NNHS will reuse the existing High School site which will promote the use of existing infrastructure, protect green fields and preserve habitat and natural resources.

· Located Near Public Transportation: NNHS will help promote the use of public transportation by locating near existing public transportation options that will reduce the impacts from automobile use.

· Roof: The project will use an Energy Star Rated Cool Roof to reduce building heat gain and the urban heat island effect. Additionally, we will be capturing roof drain water for re-use. These two strategies accomplish what a garden roof provides, but without the impact on structural systems and building cost.

· Stormwater Design: NNHS will help reduce the burden on the municipal stormwater system by reducing and treating the stormwater runoff from the site.

· Light Pollution Reduction: The site lighting was designed to reduce the impact to the night sky in an effort to protect the suburban feel of the campus while maintaining a high level of security.

Water Features:

· Rainwater Harvesting: Rainwater from the roof of the new school will be captured, stored and reused for irrigation This will result in a calculated potable water savings of over 1 million gallons of water annually.

· Fixture Selection: Through the use of highly efficient plumbing fixtures NNHS will reduce potable water use by a calculated 1.34 million gallons. The design will reduce water consumption by a calculated 31.2%.

Energy Features:

· Energy Efficiency: The project is designed with high efficient mechanical system, increased insulation, aggressive glazing choices and efficient lighting design that will reduce the overall energy cost by greater than 21% versus a base case.

· Renewable Energy Use: NNHS will install a 32 kW photovoltaic array that will generate an estimated 1.3-5% of the electrical demand of the building. The system will generate an estimated 44,567kWh/year saving over $8,000 annually.

· HVAC Equipment Selection: Equipment was not only selected for efficiency but also with refrigerants that will minimize contributions to global warming.

Material Features:

· Construction Waste Management: Newton and its contractor have committed to recycle at least 75% of the construction waste produced during the construction process, which will reduce the burden on the local landfills.

· Material Selection: The building has been designed to maximize the use of materials with a high recycled content thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials. There was also a preference shown towards regionally extracted and produced building materials that will reduce the environmental impacts resulting from transportation and help support local economies. The design team has taken extra efforts to reduce the source of indoor air pollutants, by eliminating the use of paints, adhesives, and carpeting materials which might “off-gas” high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This will make for a healthier indoor environment and a better learning environment.

Indoor Quality Features:

· Proper Ventilation: The ventilation strategy has been designed to provide fresh air at least 30% above the required rate. This will make for a healthier indoor environment and a better learning environment.

· Good Indoor Air Quality: The contractors will develop a construction IAQ management plan that will help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.

· Connection to the Outdoors: The project was designed so that occupants have direct views to the outdoors from the majority of regularly occupied spaces, thus creating a connection to the surrounding campus and natural environment.

· Daylighting: Good daylighting is a key design priority. All classroom areas will be oriented to provide adequate natural light during daylight hours, both to save energy and to provide a better learning environment. Daylight modeling was conducted to test room orientation, layout, depth, window size and glazing type.

· Acoustics: Special consideration was taken to ensure the design will provide a comfortable acoustic environment that will allow teachers to speak to the class without straining their voices and students to effectively communicate with each other and the teacher.


· School as a Teaching Tool: Newton will develop curriculum based on the high performance features of the building and explore the relationship between the natural and built environment.

Erik Ruoff, LEED AP BD&CProject ManagerThe Green Engineer, LLP

Newton North is expected to earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. Certifications are awarded based on how many points a building earns. Anything green can earn points, and some aspects of a building earn more points than others. The following list gives some features that helped the new North achieve this honor:
  • Rainwater is harvested, allowing us to use one million fewer gallons each year.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs and better insulation will lessen the energy costs for the building by 21%.
  • There are 168 photovoltaic cells installed on the gym roof
Check out
This is the data collection center for our 32kW array at Newton North. Students will use this information to catalog the data, study the performance of the array, and investigate the efficiency of PV power.

  • Carpets, paints, adhesives, and sealants have low-Volatile Organic Compounds.
  • Better ventilation to provide more fresh air for the inhabitants.
  • More windows allow for more natural light, reducing the need for artificial light.
  • Windows also allow sunlight to heat the building in the winter.
  • The old building's land will be reused.
  • In addition, approximately 75% of the construction waste from the old building will be recycled.

What LEED is About