Green Street Academy (Sustainability)

Green Street Academy (GSA) is an innovative, public charter middle and high school inspiring scholars with sustainability and preparing them for college and career through project based learning. This redevelopment project transformed the former Gwynns Falls Park High School from near abandonment to a community anchor, and it is now a state-of-the-art, sustainable building shaping a generation of citizens prepared to create a greener and more sustainable world.

The school achieved a LEED Platinum certification under the Schools 2009 rating system. This is the highest rating achievable and ranks GSA in the top 4 percent of all schools. In fact, as of May 2016, it is the second largest K-12 project in the world, and the only one in Baltimore and Maryland, to be certified Platinum under the LEED for Schools 2009 rating system.

Sustainability and Resiliency strategies integrated into the process and project, include:

Site

  • 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, shares with church
  • Preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles and carpools
  • Maximizes open space & outdoor learning areas
  • Reduces “heat island effect” with reflective roofs

Water

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

Energy

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

Materials

  • 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

Land use and site ecology strategies and goals were further developed in a master plan to use for fundraising and grant opportunities. The plan is described in four “landscapes” and includes transforming the site into a living laboratory with educational signage and opportunities for gathering, demonstrating, producing, experimenting and learning.

Demonstration

  • Habitat Conservation Meadows
  • Water Resource Exhibit
  • Green Roof Entrance Canopy

Production

  • Community Fruit Orchard
  • Farms (Hoop Houses, Raised Garden beds, Chickens & tilapia fish farms)
  • Renewable Energy Array (PV canopies, sunflowers fields)

Learning

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

Experimentation

  • Interactive Aquaponics Center
  • Forestry Laboratory

Size: 158,960 sqft

Learn more about the architecture of Green Street Academy.