Berry Elementary School reaches LEED Silver status

Berry Elementary School reaches LEED Silver status
Campus is seventh in HISD to reach Silver level of certification for green schools

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Berry Elementary School the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver designation, making it Houston ISD’s seventh school to receive that level of certification.

The newly designed environmental studies magnet school, a $15.7 million project built with funds from HISD’s 2007 bond program, has multiple environmental enhancements designed to save energy. The two-story, 86,000-square-foot building features large cisterns that collect rainwater for irrigation, a three-sided courtyard that includes outdoor learning areas and wildflower garden areas for additional science projects, enhanced science laboratories, and large windows in each classroom.

“I am proud to be part of a cutting-edge green school that not only exemplifies best practices in sustainable design but is teaching our students to be environmentally conscious,” said Berry Elementary Principal Ali Oliver.

Certification of the project was based on green design and construction features that include the following:

  • Use of recycled building materials, use of regional materials, use of certified wood, and construction waste recycling (87 percent of construction waste was recycled, and 32 percent of the new school building’s materials contained recycyled content)
  • Ÿ Use of low-emitting materials throughout, and indoor air-quality management
  • Ÿ Optimization of energy performance, with a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption through energy efficient primary heating, cooling, and ventilation systems
  • Ÿ Maximizing the school’s open spaces
  • Ÿ Storm water quality and quantity control
  • Ÿ Availability of outside views (92 percent of the school spaces have a view to the outdoors)
  • Ÿ Water-efficient landscaping and water-conserving interior fixtures that reduce water use    by 38 percent.

“Our school facilities are long-term investments for our students, staff and the community,” said Leo Bobadilla, HISD’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are challenging all of our project teams in the 2012 bond program to set high standards in building safe, efficient and sustainable 21st century school facilities that contribute to a student’s learning experience, provide a healthy learning environment, conserve resources, and produce long-term savings to our operating budget.”

Berry Elementary was designed by Gensler Architects with Reihl Engineering as its LEED Commissioning Agent. Jones Engineers, LP, designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The school’s civil engineers are Gooden Consulting Engineers, Inc. and its structural engineers are ASA/DALLY Consulting. Gamma Construction Company was the building’s general contractor.

LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council’s internationally recognized rating system and provides third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. Read more at