Special Report

Where Are the Greenest Schools in the Country?

The definition of being eco-conscious is so much more than having solar panels on a roof

Manassas Park Elementary School, Manassas, Virginia. Architect: VMDO Architects, PC. (© Sam Kittner)

Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School
(Halkin Photography LLC)

The property where Kensington CAPA now stands certainly had a few marks against it. Located in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, the lot was bordered, rather closely, by the tracks of a noisy elevated train and was a known site for drug deals. But, the architectural team overcame these challenges—structuring the building so that the gym and cafeteria were closer to the tracks than the classrooms, for starters. The result is a school that faculty, staff, students and parents are proud to call their own. The first LEED Platinum certified public high school in the country, Kensington CAPA makes use of natural daylight, geothermal heating and green roofs. Forget sprinklers! The site manages storm water so efficiently that its gardens and practice field do not need to be watered.


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