Press Releases


Green Street Academy Becomes the World’s Second Largest LEED® Certified Platinum Project

  • December 12, 2016
  • HCM

Hord Coplan Macht is thrilled to announce that our project, Green Street Academy (, West Baltimore’s public charter middle and high school, has achieved a LEED Platinum certification under the Schools v3 rating system, making it the first and only in Baltimore and the state of Maryland, and the second largest in the world, as of the date of certification. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.  Platinum Certification is the highest rating achievable, and ranks Green Street Academy in the top four percent of all schools in the world under this rating.

The certification was achieved in May 2016, and on Oct. 12 at 4:oo p.m., a representative from the USGBC will present a plaque to the school’s executive director Dan Schochor and to Hord Coplan Macht. Invited guests of the ceremony include the project’s developers Seawall Development Co., its construction company Southway Builders / MCN Build JV, and financiers Bank of America, the Abell Foundation, and The Reinvestment Fund, as well as local elected officials and members of the media. Tours of the facility will follow plaque presentation.

“Green Street Academy receiving the highest possible designation for sustainable construction in the renovation of a Baltimore landmark is yet another example of the school putting its mission of creating a more sustainable, future-focused way of educating students into action,” remarked Dan Schochor, Green Street Academy’s executive director.  “Much has been made about the importance of creating 21st century-prepared students through education, and there is no better way to accomplish that goal than to surround those same students with a structure that very literally supports that mission and vision.”

Under the LEED Schools v3 Rating System, the 111,000-sq.-ft.-facility achieved certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Sustainability and resiliency strategies were integrated into the green building process and project, including:  


  • Connections to community and neighborhoods
  • Shares building and site with Kingdom Life Church
  • Allows school to grow in future with master plan
  • Supports public transportation, bikes, and pedestrians
  • Reduces total amount of parking and shares with church
  • Preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles and carpools
  • Maximizes open space and outdoor learning areas
  • Reduces “heat island effect” with reflective roofs


  • Uses water efficient landscaping
  • 30 percent modeled water use reduction
  • Reduces kitchen process water use


  • 38 percent modeled energy reduction
  • Enhanced commissioning system verification
  • 7.5 percent on-site renewable energy with photovoltaic parking canopies


  • Reuses 100 percent of existing building’s walls, floors, roofs
  • Reuses 66 percent of existing interior non-structural elements
  • 84 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • 41 percent recycled materials installed
  • 20 percent regional materials installed

Indoor Environment

  • Indoor air quality during construction and occupancy
  • Provides acoustical performance for all learning areas
  • Installs low emitting (no-to-low VOC) materials
  • Group and individual control – thermal comfort and lighting
  • Provides daylight and views to exterior


Further sustainable strategies were developed into an overall Master Plan including:


The Landscape of Demonstration

  • Habitat Conservation Meadows
  • Water Resource Exhibit (with Cistern Fed Gardens)
  • Entrance Canopy with Green Roof

The Landscape of Production

  • Community Fruit Orchard
  • Hoop Houses, Raised Garden Beds, Chicken Coops, and Tilapia Fish Farms
  • Renewable Energy Array (PV parking canopies, sunflower fields and renewable energy research zone)

The Landscape of Learning

  • Global Outdoor Classroom (with Bio-retention and Wetland Habitat)
  • Flexible Recreation Fields / Space

The Landscape of Experimentation

  • Interactive Aquaponics Center (enclosed courtyard with media beds, raft beds, aquaculture tanks, and vertical gardens)
  • Forestry Laboratory

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The Green Street Academy project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

In addition to its LEED Platinum Certification designation, Green Street Academy has received several accolades since the renovated school was opened in 2015, including:

  • Public Building of the Year, AIA MD, 2016
  • Wintergreen Presidents Award, USGBC -MD, 2016
  • Excellence in Construction Award, ABC Baltimore, 2016
  • Project of the Year, ABC Baltimore, 2016
  • Rehabilitation Award, Baltimore Heritage, 2016


About LEED

As the most widely recognized and widely used green building program across the globe, LEED is transforming buildingshomes and communities in all 50 states and more than 161 countries and territories worldwide. LEED guides the design, construction, operations and maintenance of more than 79,600 projects worldwide, comprising more than 15.3 billion square feet of commercial and institutional construction space, and more than 245,000 additional residential units.


About Green Street Academy:


Green Street Academy (GSA) is an innovative public middle-high charter school, inspiring scholars with sustainability and preparing them for college and career through project-based learning. Originally constructed in 1925, the former Gwynns Falls Park High School (125 N. Hilton Street) sat nearly vacant for more than 20 years in an urban site in Southwest Baltimore. An overhaul that was completed Sept. 2015, transforming what’s now Green Street Academy into a community anchor and a state-of-the-art, sustainable building shaping a generation of citizens prepared to create a greener and more sustainable world. In May 2016, the school achieved a LEED Platinum certification under the Schools v3 rating system, making it the first and only in Baltimore and the state of Maryland, and the second largest in the world, as of the date of certification. Learn more at