Kensington High School
Sustainable comfort contributes to Pennsylvania's first LEED® Platinum high school
When the Philadelphia School District decided to replace a troubled and deteriorating high school with three smaller, magnet-style institutions, AP Construction (AP) and BSI Construction, LLC. (BSI) undertook delivery of a turn-key solution, the Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts (KCAPA). AP/BSI sought to develop a bright, comfortable, inspirational environment that would facilitate education and empower students and teachers in an economically challenged neighborhood. The firm aimed to provide sustainable heating, cooling and ventilation in the confines of a dense urban setting while giving teachers the ability to control conditions in their classroom. AP/BSI also wanted the building engineer to have integrated control over all lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) functions. Finally, AP/BSI wanted to build the first-ever LEED® Gold high school in Pennsylvania.
Carrier, in conjunction with Alderson Engineering, recommended that AP/BSI use 77 Aquazone™ water source heat pumps paired with custom dual-wheel energy recovery units to provide sustainable geothermal comfort and fresh air to each classroom at KCAPA. This strategy employed the ground beneath the athletic field for 96 vertical geothermal wells, and gave each teacher the power to adjust their classroom temperature and bring in fresh air as needed. The i-Vu® Pro web-based user interface allows the building engineer to monitor and troubleshoot all HVAC and lighting functions. Thanks to sustainable heating, cooling and ventilation as well as other green features, KCAPA became the first high school in Pennsylvania to attain LEED Platinum status, exceeding the builders’ LEED Gold ambitions.