Ill. private school receives LEED platinum for new wing

Ill. private school receives LEED platinum for new wing

Chiaravalle Montessori received LEED platinum certification for its new North Wing addition, the highest of four environmental rating levels. Photo by Jim Steinkamp

Evanston private school Chiaravalle Montessori received the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED platinum certification — the organization’s highest level of environmental building — for its North Wing addition, according to a news release.

The wing, which cost $7 million and opened last fall, became the first Illinois private school addition to receive the prestigious designation. The structure combines a slew of environmentally friendly features like photovoltaic panels, a green roof, recycled materials and a geothermal system.

“LEED platinum is a pretty rare designation. There aren’t a lot of LEED platinum schools in the country,” USGBC-Illinois executive director Brian Imus said. “It’s a really big deal that Chiaravalle was able to make that happen.”

Platinum is the highest of four LEED ratings — certified, silver, gold and platinum. To receive the designation, a building must receive a minimum number of points based on green-based construction and maintenance. Imus said Chiaravalle earned the distinction from both its energy reduction and low material use efforts.

Founded in 1965, Chiaravalle is a non-denominational, independent, co-educational school for children ages 16 months to 14 years.

In designing the new building, officials said architects looked to both honor the school’s traditional style and construct something more contemporary. The result was a nearly 19,000 square foot addition built with roughly 42 percent recycled materials and a vegetated roof that covers about 30 percent of the roof area.

In February, Chiaravalle was chosen as one of three Illinois schools to represent the state in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program, which recognizes schools that prioritize environmental education and initiatives.

The new wing would provide additional space for the roughly 300 students who attend Chiaravalle.


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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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