Gallery: PHOTOS: Denver’s First LEED Gold School and Zero Energy Commun...

Fresh air is piped in through an energy recovery ventilator and signs explain how the school keeps air free from radon, VOC’s, cleaning products, and outside pollutants -- although I was a bit surprised to see vinyl graphics on the walls which could release phthalates.

The campus is located on the fringe of eastern Denver suburbia, a vast tract of new construction projects and cul-de-sacs. While it’s not located in the most sustainable of developments ,the design does reflect the need for a community center in such a fast growing area. The campus is actually a series of separate schools anchored by a main building that hosts cafeterias, meeting rooms, a gym and 300 kW of solar panels on its white roof. Dubbed the Student Union Building it, is actually run like a business for events, providing much-needed space for the growing community.

Three nearly identical buildings with marquee overhangs provide a multitude of educational opportunities — including a charter school for k – 2nd grade, a public science and technology high school, and a middle school. The unusual set-up allows for the campus to adapt to changing education needs in the community. The school itself is an educational tool for green building, and it has a lot to teach the students and faculty about how buildings work.


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