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West Hartford

Green Building

Charter Oak Solar

Charter Oak International Academy, built in 2016, is the Town’s first official green building. This K-5 school is Gold-certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. (View Charter Oak’s LEED scorecard.) The building is geothermal heated and cooled and has a 100 KW DC solar array rooftop. It incorporates many other passive and active green building features, such as high-performance building envelope and windows, sunscreens, water-efficient fixtures, native, drought-tolerant landscaping, low-environmental-impact materials, LED lighting, automated lighting and building control systems, and an electric vehicle charging station. Charter Oak is the Town’s top energy-performing building with an energy use index (EUI) of about 35 kBtu per square foot. Fossil fuel use (natural gas) is minimal – limited to domestic hot water and cooking in the kitchen and the school’s emergency backup generator.

Cost-effective, integrated, sustainable green building design—including the elimination of fossil fuels and the goal of reaching net-zero energy—will be a priority in the future as the Town looks to replace, consolidate, and/or renovate aging facilities. Upcoming Town projects include a new animal shelter and a new Elmwood Community Center.

What can you do?
  • Incorporate green design practices into your renovation or new construction projects.
  • Certify your project under one of many green building standards.
  • Ask your legislators and elected officials to support green building practices and standards.
Resources to get started…