Pennwood Middle School achieves LEED Gold certification

The environmentally-friendly renovation of Pennwood Middle School in the Pennsbury School District employed numerous sustainable planning, design, and construction components to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

By seeking the LEED Certification, the District earned a $2 million grant toward the project from the State Department of Community and Economic development secured by D’Huy Engineering.

This grant amount is the highest available and was the result of a competitive application process to the state.

The school’s renovation, designed and engineered by Remington & Vernick Engineers, with construction management provided by D’Huy Engineering, began in 2016 and was completed under budget and in time for school to open in August 2018.

Thanks to the extent of the green aspects of this $44 million renovation, the project achieved LEED Gold certification.

Built in 1951 as the first high school in Pennsbury, Pennwood is considered something of a local landmark with countless community ties over the years.

The building, located at 1523 Makefield Road in Lower Makefield, currently serves as one of three Pennsbury middle schools – all located on one campus – for students in grades 6-8.

The Pennwood Middle School project consisted of a full renovation to the existing 190,000 square foot school and a classroom addition of 8,000 square feet.

LEED Gold certification was achieved by complying with the following US Green Building Council (USGBC) requirements:

  • Reused 95% of the existing structural elements of the building.
  • The building is in a neighborhood where students can walk or bike to school. Bike racks, showers, and changing rooms were provided to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Improvements to the building’s envelope, windows, roofing, and lighting controls, as well as installing a new high-efficiency, fully-controllable HVAC system, have reduced the energy usage, resulting in an energy savings, improved indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics and an overall enhancement of the teaching space.
  • Parking is provided for low emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Low flow toilets, automatic faucets, and water efficient landscaping allow for more than a 20% reduction in water usage.
  • School-owned auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, classrooms, playing fields and joint parking are shared with the surrounding community. *Twenty-five percent of the total building materials were locally sourced and 26% were manufactured using recycled materials.
  • There is a reduction of volatile organic compounds in sealants and glues through the use of water-soluble products to reduce off-gassing.
  • Onsite recycling efforts helped the project team divert 95% of construction waste away from landfills and into recycling centers. Pennwood Principal Derek Majikas and Assistant Principal Ryan Kennedy welcome the public to a special ceremony and walk-through on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11th from 4:30 to 6:00pm.

All are welcome to attend and tour the newly-renovated school.