FORT KNOX, Ky.— Fort Knox Middle High School has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its recent 52,000-square-foot addition, which was designed by Woolpert.
It is the most recent Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school to be certified as LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Woolpert Vice President and Federal Design Practice Leader Doug Brown said the $21 million addition to the Fort Knox, Ky., school earned LEED Gold status by meeting stringent USGBC guidelines on energy efficiency, green building materials and resources, sustainability, environmental quality and innovation. Brown credited DoDEA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for making sustainability a priority.
“There is definitely a push throughout DoD to create sustainable buildings and to set the appropriate tone and prototype for the future,” said Brown, who also served as a U.S. Air Force (USAF) civil engineer officer for eight years. “DoDEA schools not only provide the healthiest environment for students, but the individual school itself acts as a teaching tool—illustrating environmental leadership and stewardship within a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning environment.”
Woolpert Sustainable Design Expert Nadja Turek said the school was designed to be student-centered, participatory and experientially oriented. She cited how exposed features within the Fort Knox design convey the function and application of architecture and engineering systems, and how visibly maximizing natural light, harvesting and managing rainwater, and incorporating recycled materials demonstrate the effectiveness of environmental design.
“As the owner of the school, DoDEA sets the agenda and dictates the importance of building a 21st-century green school,” said Turek, a civil engineer and former USAF captain. “For Fort Knox, the USACE Louisville District followed the DoDEA model of having an open learning environment with individual studios and adaptable areas with operable partitions. They deserve credit along with DoDEA for this achievement because they continually reinforce green building standards and LEED certification as integral to the design process.”
Woolpert lauded CMTA Inc., which provided mechanical engineering, and acoustical subconsultant Merck & Hill Consultants Inc. for their work on this project. The contractor for the Fort Knox Middle High School addition was Walsh Construction, which also provided STEM sessions for students during construction.
This LEED project is among 54 for which Woolpert has been recognized. For DoDEA, Woolpert led the design on Barkley Elementary School in Fort Campbell, Ky., which earned LEED Silver certification; provided civil and structural engineering for Fort Bragg elementary and middle schools, which earned LEED Silver; and has applied for LEED certification for the firm’s work on DeLalio Elementary School in Jacksonville, N.C. Waller, Todd & Sadler, a Woolpert Company, also is completing the LEED application process for its design of Fort Campbell Middle School.