Many of the buildings at Highland Park High School, a historic campus in one of Illinois’ highest performing districts, have been added to multiple times over the past century. This created a disjointed campus with aging facilities, making necessary upgrades and sustainable design features difficult to implement.
The biggest challenges for the design team were building within the core of a campus, creating visual and architectural cohesion, and maintaining operations during construction to minimize disruption. From a functional relationship standpoint, for example, the team demolished the 1914 gymnasiums and relocated them back to the other PE facilities. The existing pool was relocated and expanded, and new classrooms were constructed in the core area. The building now has flexible spaces that accommodate project-based learning, improved air circulation and generous daylighting to boost wellness and productivity.
The new program improved campus connectivity, traffic flow and wayfinding while positioning the school for future renovations. Long-term facilities planning was top-of-mind for this district, as was ensuring the building can accommodate changing pedagogies and teaching styles for years to come. These needs were incorporated into a cohesive plan with technology-rich 21st century learning facilities that respond to the existing historic nature of the campus. This all needed to be done within budget, and as a result of careful planning the project came in at $1.3M under budget.
Highland Park High School was a major renovation and addition to the existing facilities that significantly improved building performance and circulation. The oldest portion of the building dates back to 1914, with a majority of the existing systems installed during the early 1960’s. New mechanical systems, LED lighting, lighting controls, glazing and shading techniques were installed throughout the renovated classroom areas in the 1958 Building A, 1914 Building B, and new academic Building C. The Physical Education building was a new construction that included energy efficient mechanical systems, LED lighting and lighting controls throughout. In addition, a UV filtration system and chemical treatment was installed with the new pool which significantly upgrades the existing system.
The building is solar-oriented and massed, with a compact shape to minimize the envelope. The existing renovations at building A and building B did not change orientation, but upgraded the exterior by including efficient new glazing, replacing non-insulated wall systems, and tuck-pointing. The new Building C and Physical Education were designed with building mass and solar orientation in mind. Based on the site constraints, Building C was demolished and reconstructed with a two story footprint. The physical education facilities were also designed over the original footprint with an expansion north. The physical education facility was constructed with an insulated precast panel to improve the efficiency of the building envelope.
Plentiful daylight throughout helps reduce energy use during winter months. A majority of the renovated classrooms, as well as the pool, have an expansive south facing façade with new energy efficient glazing to maximize energy reduction in cold weather.
The building is operationally efficient with simplified maintenance. A major part of the renovation effort was a re-design of the mechanical penthouse and tunnel systems that serves the entire campus. The goal was to simplify the systems and maintenance throughout with better access.
Native or naturalized species appropriate to the zone and microclimate of the school’s surroundings are accommodated. Landscape was planted around the perimeter of the new Physical Education facilities with native species appropriate to the area. The landscape does not provide an irrigation system which helps the building's potable water use.
Highly efficient heating systems including radiant perimeter heating panels and displacement ventilation were installed at the perimeter of the building in all renovated and new construction areas. A majority of the systems were switched over to a more efficient VRF system (explained in the energy summary below).
All renovated classroom and physical education areas were installed with 100% LED lighting. Occupancy sensors and dimmable switching are provided in all rooms.
Flexible spaces reduce program and overall square footage. Several of the new classrooms in building C were designed with foldable partitions between the rooms to maximize the flexibility of learning spaces.
The project's HVAC scope replaced the existing 1958 system that consisted of constant volume ventilation units that delivered constant airflow to the space, with individual spaces having hot water perimeter fin tube radiation controlled by a wall mounted thermostat. The original system had direct expansion cooling for each air handler.
The new design provided individual space with variable refrigerant flow (VRF) evaporator that provide on demand heating or cooling to the space. The VRF evaporators provided 100% recirculation air and are controlled by a wall mounted thermostat. The system significantly upgrades the efficiently and control flexibility. The use of dedicated outside air units with energy recovery and VRF reduced overall energy usage over the original system by an estimated 45%.
The strategy also included greatly reducing the amount of hot water to be utilized in the building. The overall reduction in heating hot water was in the range of 60%.
- Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr excluding on-site renewable energy contribution = 37.3 kBtu/sf/yr
- Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution (carbon offsets will not be counted) = 37.3 kBtu/sf/yr
- Predicted % regional energy reduction per Energy Star Target Finder = 45%
The district provides bus service to students outside a walkable distance from the high school. In addition, the high school is located roughly ½ mile from the Metra North line. Pace provides a bus service that runs from the Metra station and stops adjacent to the high school. There are 613 total parking spaces, totaling .26 spaces per occupant
Walk Score rating = 74 (per WalkScore.com)
We addressed storm water management as part of the project. The storm water from the site is collected and drained to the detention basin which has been planted with wetland plants to provide water quality benefits.
- Percent (%) precipitation managed on site = approximately 40%.
- Percent (%) waste water reused on site = 0%
- Percent (%) annual regulated potable water use, gallons/sf/yr = 100% regulated, 3216.81 kgal/year (renovated areas and additions)
- Percent (%) regulated potable water reduction from baseline = 6.3% total
The construction manager’s goal is to recycle more than 75% of all construction-related waste on every project. This goal was exceeded by recycling a total of 84.5% of construction-related waste, which is the equivalent of 12,132 tons. A co-mingled dumpster service was utilized, where the dumpster servicing company sorted our construction waste for recyclable material such as cardboard, plastics and metals that were discarded during the construction process. In addition, a flush-out after occupancy addressed the indoor environmental quality. The space was ventilated at a rate of 0.30 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per square foot of outdoor air. The space was occupied after the delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cubic feet per square foot.