Chinquapin School Building Scores LEED® Points

Highlands’ Chinquapin Faculty Duplex moves to the head of the green classroom by scoring high marks with the U.S. Green Building Council in its LEED® certification program.  This faculty duplex serves as the first all-green facility on campus but is just a prelude to bigger and greener projects in the future.The $300,000 building served as a valuable living and learning educational experience for all participants; Chinquapin Technology Director David Heinzerling instructed the 2007 architecture class that created the building’s eco-smart design.  Heinzerling challenged his class to design comprehensive floor and building systems plans that would minimize energy usage and be environmentally beneficial.  This project fits well with the USGBC’s Emerging Green Builders program that accents incentives to future developers, architects and construction professionals.The class submitted four plans for consideration.  Local architects selected one of the plans as a base.  After a local review, the plan was forwarded to Glassman, Shoemake and Maldonado, who agreed to undertake the project.  “At first we weren’t sure if this would actually happen, but we managed to get the ball rolling and find some funding,” said Heinzerling.The Chinquapin students took an aggressive green approach to the faculty building as nearly every detail in the design had green consideration.  Low-flow toilets and water collected in rain barrels and runoff water used for landscaping have greatly reduced water usage.  Cool roof shingles and strategically placed double pane windows maximize wind flow and will help combat those Texas summer days.Floors, countertops and walls consist of USGBC approved recycled products.  Major appliances are all Energy-Star certified.“I hope it helps educate other students about our impact on the environment.  It’s really important for them to know how they can help,” said Andy Rangel, a former student who is now attending an environmental program at Houston Community College.  “We weren’t sure it was going to happen, but we were hoping it would lead to this.”LEED® certification is for everyone and Chinquapin School deserves recognition for the efforts of the students and faculty in bringing this project to fruition.  Go Green!

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