Oklahoma Gets First LEED Gold K-12 Building

Green schools have been cropping up all over the country in recent years, some of them far from noted green building centers. Such is the case with the the Jenks Math and Science Center in Jenks, Okla., (a suburb of Tulsa) which recently became the state’s first LEED-certified K-12 building. The project was built by Tulsa-based Manhattan Construction and designed by Tulsa-based GH2 Architects, and Michigan-based TMP Architecture, and has garnered LEED Gold certification.

Encompassing 91,580 square feet, the Jenks Public Schools Math and Science Center includes ten math classrooms, fourteen flexible science teaching studios, a student health center, a 200-seat multi-purpose meeting room and a 105-seat planetarium. Located in the center of the main Jenks high school campus — creating a visual and physical link between the Freshman Academy and senior high classroom buildings — the building was designed to encourage collaboration between math and science and also between the different grade levels.

Jenks Math and Science Center

image via Manhattan Construction

Green features of the new Jenks Math and Science Center include a wind power system comprised of via four vertical axis wind turbines, as well as groundsource heat pumps that use the steady temperature of the earth to heat and cool the building (and generate hot water).

The electricity generated via the building’s wind power system is monitored remotely, with data integrated into the school’s renewable energy study program; the groundsource system pumps water through 217 vertical wells, which are each 400 feet deep, using around 33 miles of piping.

The building makes use of an energy efficient heating and cooling system, high efficiency appliances and high efficiency plumbing fixtures. Its high-performance building envelope incorporates insulated metal panels and high-performance windows, which are protected by fixed vertical and horizontal sunshades to reduce glare and solar heat gain during the summer months. These same windows also flood the classrooms with an abundance of natural light, helping kids to stay focused during their studies.

The Jenks Math and Science Center received the 2011 Honor Award from the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and a Jury’s Choice Award from School Planning and Management. Serving over 10,000 students, Jenks Public Schools has also been awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for leadership in the field of education.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.