Two Henrico high schools earn LEED Gold status from Green Building Council

Number of LEED-certified buildings constructed by the county grows to 22

Highland Springs and J.R. Tucker high schools have been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable design and construction and reduced environmental impact.

The schools, which opened in 2021, expanded the county’s total number of LEED-certified government or school buildings to 22. Twelve are recognized at the Gold level, 10 others at Silver. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized program that evaluates building projects for such strategies as location, site design, water and energy efficiency, building material selection, daylight and views, and indoor air quality.

Highland Springs and Tucker – each with 265,000 square feet – have a shared design focused on energy efficiency. Features include LED lighting, a boiler for heating with 92% efficiency and an improved building envelope (walls, windows and roof) compared to minimum standards as specified by the code.

The buildings replaced the original Highland Springs and Tucker, which were built in 1952 and 1963, respectively, and were two of Henrico’s oldest high schools. The new buildings use 20%-25% less energy per square foot than the buildings they replaced.

Rooftop solar systems were installed at both schools – 885 kiloWatts (kW) at Highland Springs and 1,004 kW at Tucker. Since becoming operational in April, the systems have produced 1.1 million kiloWatt-hours of renewable electricity. Each system is expected to supply about 50% of the school’s electricity and save over $1 million on utility costs over 25 years.

Six Henrico schools have achieved LEED certification, including Holladay Elementary School. Its 83,000-square-foot expansion earned Gold-level certification in February.

More information about the schools and Henrico’s other LEED-certified buildings is available online.

JR Tucker HS
Highland Springs HS
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