Sustainability Features

Sustainability has been an integral component of the project since its inception. Through the feasibility study and design process, and now during construction, sustainability has guided much of the final design.

Sustainability holds such importance for several reasons:

  • It helps Arlington make significant progress toward its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, a goal set because of concerns about climate change. 
  • An efficient, sustainable design reduces long-term operating costs for our largest town-owned building.
  • A building designed with sustainability in mind will create learning opportunities and provide a healthier environment for our students 
  • Achieving a certain level of energy efficiency and sustainable design, as measured by the LEED rating system, qualified the project for an additional 2 percentage points reimbursement from the MSBA (Mass. School Building Authority), or about $3.5 million. The new high school is on track to receive LEED Gold status and the project team is working hard towards a goal of LEED Platinum.

Energy use in the new AHS

The reach goal of creating a net zero energy building guided the Building Committee in formulating approaches to sustainability. Although net zero energy is not currently achievable (because the building will not produce as much energy as it uses), much progress has been made toward important outcomes:

Additional Considerations in Sustainability Efforts

In addition to the major goals listed above, there were several other considerations which affected sustainability work, with both positive and negative impacts.

Additional Resources and Blogs