High Tech High Chula Vista
Awarding an orchid to High Tech High in the Sustainability category posed an agonizing quandary for jurors. The building itself is exemplary: abundant daylighting, photovoltaic solar energy, optimized energy systems, and an anticipated LEED Gold Rating are just a few of the school’s distinctions. Yet the jurors found its suburban fringe location underscored the inherently unsustainable land‐use pattern of suburban, car‐dependent transportation. In granting this particular orchid, jurors decided that the good architecture and sustainable design trumped old-fashioned land use policies.
- Project Address: 1945 Discovery Falls Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91915
- Project Owner/ Developer: HTH Learning
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Paul W. Dooley/ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Architect/ Designer: Studio E
High Tech High Chula Vista is the first school to be built in the City's University Park and Research Center. As the pioneer in this development, it was important to design a building and campus that set set a high standard for sustainability and aesthetics.
From the outset of the planning process HTHCV was designed to be the most sustainably designed and operated school in San Diego County, and a great place to learn. Pre-fabricating major building components off-site not only accelerated the construction schedule, it also increased the ability to control material use and increase quality, and reduce construction waste and site disturbance.
Similar to earlier HTH schools, HTHCV incorporates essential elements such as enhanced acoustics, abundant daylighting, and stringent indoor air quality standards. A photovoltaic (PV) solar electric panel system on the roof is generating approximately 115% of the school’s electrical demand. When the school is fully occupied in the Fall of 2010, the system will still provide over 80% of the school’s electrical demand.
The project has been submitted for the EPA Energy Star Program, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Verification, and US Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification. Results for these certifications are due by February, 2010. Other points: - Energy performance is optimized to far exceed California Title 24 energy efficiency requirements, and the result is a documented 54% energy cost savings over a school that meets the already-stringent code requirements. - HTHCV is extremely energy efficient, and therefore the large solar photovoltaic array produces more energy than the school consumes in the first year. By the third year, it is anticipated that the solar system will produce as much as 80% of the school’s energy demand.
This renewable energy source is grid-connected, serving the entire community, and is done in partnership with the SDG&E Sustainable Communities Program. - As further commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing renewable energy sources, HTHCV entered into a contract with Sterling Planet to purchase 100% of the school’s required power through only Green-e Certified power producers, which includes biomass, solar, and wind power generation certified sources. - Water efficient fixtures and operations results in a 52% water savings over the EPA guidelines.