1/16/2013 3:03:00 PM Valley Catholic gets the gold
Valley Catholic photo
The new school building at Valley Catholic has received a Gold rating for green building design.
BEAVERTON – “Raise the standards” – the theme of Catholic Schools Week 2013 – will have special meaning at a celebration at Valley Catholic School on Jan. 30. After opening their new elementary and middle school building in fall 2011, the school planned to pursue LEED Silver certification. Instead, they raised the standards and earned gold.
Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Built from May 2010 to Sept. 2011 under the leadership of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO), the two-story, 67,000-square-foot building was designed by Soderstrom Architects. KPFF Consulting Engineers and general contractor Howard Wright oversaw construction of the $12.7 million project.
The building earned a LEED gold rating for its use of recycled materials, including insulation made from recycled jeans, flooring made from corn chips, green roofs and high-efficiency HVAC systems. Among dozens of other features, the building has two green roofs featuring the flowering plant sedum, large windows for natural lighting, and a white cap sheet that reflects the heat from sunlight and reduces energy costs. Wood from a 200-year-old oak tree on the school site has been incorporated into wall paneling, chapel doors and furniture, and a wood slat ceiling.
Educating people about green construction and sustainability was one of the factors that LEED considered for the building’s final rating. Valley Catholic Middle School Vice Principal June Poling, who heads the middle school science department, worked with teachers to create a middle school curriculum based on the LEED certification process.
The first new Catholic school to be built within the Archdiocese of Portland since 2004, the Valley Catholic Elementary and Middle School building currently serves 340 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and 225 students in sixth through eighth grades.