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Northwood High School

Sustainability Guidelines

Master Plan

Draft August 10, 2003

This document presents an initial list of guidelines for long-term planning for the reopened Northwood High School. We expect the list to grow and change as we develop partnerships with businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations and as we get further input from parents, staff of Northwood and community members.

The overall goals of the Master Plan Sustainability Guidelines for Northwood are:

  1. To use the school facility as an integral part of the learning environment at Northwood û a "living laboratory"
  1. To measurably improve the environmental quality of the Northwood community (school and surrounding neighborhoods), e.g. by:
    1. Restoring biodiversity through use of native plant landscaping
    1. Improving stormwater management and reducing the impacts of the facility on local water quality.
  1. To demonstrate, in this high-visibility location, sustainability technologies and management systems that can be replicated elsewhere.
  1. To incorporate visible features that reinforce the school's identity as a center for the study of community environmental sustainability.


    1. Develop and implement natural landscaping for entire site (use of native plants, natural drainage, improvement of on-site and off-site water quality). Build landscaping projects into the curriculum; involve students in carrying them out.
    2. Provide preferred parking for car-pooling
    3. Collect and use rainwater from roofs and impervious surfaces for irrigation of sports field, rainwater ponds, landscaping
    4. Install bio-retention zones in impervious parking lots
    5. Provide outdoor classroom in center courtyard
    6. Build ECO-School House. Orient building to take advantage of passive solar architectural features.
    7. Implement on-site composting of suitable wastes û use compost on-site
    8. "Living machine" in greenhouse for full or partial wastewater treatment


    1. Composting toilet for Eco-School house
    2. Greywater system in Eco-School House
    3. Refurbish all remaining plumbing - new water efficient fixtures; replace all lead soldered pipe joints.
    4. Infrared sensors at sinks
    5. Install sub-meters on domestic water system (kitchen, cooling towers, irrigation)


    1. Consider solar water heating
    2. Install solar water fountain in courtyard
    3. Provide exterior light shelves for classrooms and offices for effective shading and to optimize use of daylight
    4. Introduce skylights in upstairs classrooms and corridors
    5. Introduce wind and solar energy demonstration features, e.g. photovoltaic demonstration


    1. Use mostly recycled or refurbished materials and furniture for construction of Eco-School House

      Indoor Air Quality

    2. Implement environmental maintenance, cleaning, and pest control procedures


    3. Health Food Cafeteria, transitioning to organic food in cafeteria and organic agriculture studies on site
    4. Only healthy foods in vending machines in the school
    5. Use biodegradable or reusable dishes and flatware
    6. Compost food waste

      Operations and Maintenance

      1. Involve students in building operations, maintenance and school budgets

    7. Students write grant proposals and get funding for environmental projects
    8. Promote Energy and Water Conservation Education
    9. Classroom operation manuals for students (blinds, lights on and off, computers)
    10. Open Energy Books
    11. Building Management Classes
    12. Provide teachers and students access to monitoring real-time energy data and trend reports for the Energy Management System. (The students wouldn't change any set points, only have read only access). Students will monitor and track building water consumption.
    13. Involve the students in energy and water audits in the school
    14. Involve students in extensive recycling programs

      Community Involvement

      1. Establish community partnerships to involve the community in the green features of the site and involve students in green activities in the community