CHHS building is LEED Gold certified

The renovated Heights High building has earned LEED Gold certification. (photo credit: Gilbane Building Company.)

The newly renovated Cleveland Heights High School building has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification—a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Heights High earned 63 points, out of a possible 110, to achieve the second-highest level of certification. (Platinum is the highest level, following by Gold, Silver, and Certified.)

Sustainability was a priority for the CH-UH community in the Heights High renovation project. A key sustainability feature is the school’s hybrid geothermal system, which enabled the district to meet both sustainability and financial goals. Geothermal systems leverage the earth’s natural properties in order to heat and cool buildings. By using a hybrid system, the school can achieve approximately 90 percent of the energy savings of a full geothermal system, for approximately 60 percent of the cost.

The school’s sustainability extends beyond the geothermal system:

  • In the natatorium, waste heat from the pool’s HVAC unit, rather than being exhausted outside, is used to heat the pool water.
  • The design incorporates interior and exterior LED lighting.
  • The project team improved the envelope, provided triple-paned operable windows in classrooms, and incorporated sawtooth skylights into center science classrooms.

Heights High is projected to have annual energy consumption savings of 38 percent in total energy consumption savings, 42 percent in interior lighting energy, and 61 percent in exterior lighting energy.

To see the building's complete LEED scorecard, visit

Scott Wortman

Scott Wortman is the supervisor of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 2:45 PM, 06.28.2018