First Public School in Connecticut Earns LEED Gold

June 30, 2008
This nationally accepted benchmark shows that school buildings can be high performing and energy efficient at the same time

The Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School in New Haven, CT, is the first public school in Connecticut to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., says, "This nationally accepted benchmark shows that school buildings can be both high performing and energy efficient at the same time. This school is uniquely green and is a symbol of excellence in environmental stewardship."


Barnard, a pre-K through eighth grade inter-district magnet school with an environmental science niche, draws students from New Haven and several surrounding suburban towns, and is part of the New Haven Public Schools' magnet program. The school received a $43 million transformation through the city's $1.5 billion Citywide School Construction program.  

To earn Gold certification, the school met stringent performance standards in six areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Barnard earned a total of 39 points in the six categories to win the Gold designation, and it's the only public school in the state to earn LEED certification.

Some of the green features of the school include:

  • The largest roof-mounted solar panel public building array in Connecticut, which produces 16 percent of the school's energy.
  • Two greenhouses.
  • Student gardens.
  • A pedestrian bridge that gives children the chance to study in the attached nature center and park.
  • A building design that allows for ample daylight.
  • $58,174 in estimated annual energy savings.

    Barnard School is part of New Haven's school construction and renovation program. Gilbane Building Co. of Providence, RI, is the city's program manager and oversees the meeting of LEED and ENERGY STAR® standards. The program will eventually result in 46 renovated or new schools in New Haven.

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