The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) has recently received LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Platinum certification, the highest LEED certification level possible, for their latest classroom renovation in Larsen Hall. With this certification, the project has achieved a number of impressive milestones:

  • First LEED-CI Platinum classrooms in the world
  • Third LEED Platinum LEED-CI project at an university in the world (Harvard holds all three)
  • Ninth LEED-CI Platinum project in New England
  • 61st LEED-CI Platinum project in the world
  • First LEED Platinum classrooms at Harvard (any version of the rating system)
  • Fifth LEED Platinum project at Harvard (the others are LEED-NC 46 Blackstone offices, LEED for Homes 2 Grant Street, LEED-CI Griswold Hall offices, LEED-CI McCulloch Hall residence hall)
  • 28th LEED certified project at Harvard

On this achievement, Jason Carlson, Director of Operations at HGSE noted, “It is great to think that our new classroom spaces may do more than support the learning experience of future educators, researchers, and policy makers, but might also impact how they think about the integration of sustainability into the classroom and inspire them to push the limits of this ideal in their endeavors.”

Larsen Hall is an eight-story classroom and office building located at 14 Appian Way on the HGSE campus. The 7,006 square foot renovation included the creation of an 80-seat tiered classroom and adjacent seating areas on the first floor, and a 50-seat tiered classroom and flexible learning space on the second floor. The project required reworking the first and second floor completely; which included upgrading aspects of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, fire protection, tel/data and audio visual systems. Construction was completed in October 2009.

Sustainable features incorporated into the project include: using occupancy sensors to vary temperature within the space, adding a heat recovery unit to increase energy efficiency, reducing installed lighting power density (installed watts per square foot) by 27% below what is allowed by energy code, reducing overall electricity consumption from lighting (kilowatt hours) by 45% by combining the reduced lighting power density with sophisticated lighting controls (dimming switches and ballasts, occupancy sensors, and daylight sensors), low-flow restroom fixtures, and a wide range of sustainable materials, such as 100% recycled gypsum, 100% recycled countertops, and 100% recycled composite wood.

For more information on this project, please see the Harvard Gazette article dated July 14, 2010.