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New York City opens SOM-designed net-zero school

K-12 Schools

New York City opens SOM-designed net-zero school

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground will produce 662,500 kWh of energy, which will offset the amount of energy it consumes.


By Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor | November 10, 2015
New York City opens SOM-designed net-zero school

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground is the first net-zero energy school in New York City. Rendering by SOM/Courtesy of the SCA

This fall, the Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground was opened and dedicated on Staten Island, N.Y. It is the city’s first net-zero energy school.

Designed by SOM and built by the Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation, the 68,000-sf primary school will produce as much energy as it uses on an annual basis. It will comply with the NYC School Construction Authority’s Green Schools Guide, a rating system for New York City public schools that mirrors the LEED certification process. The school will have a 50% reduction in energy use compared to other new NYC public school buildings.

Photovoltaic panels on a sloped roof will produce 662,500 kWh of energy. Skylights and reflective ceiling panels bring in natural light. The Grimm School also has energy recovery ventilators, demand-control ventilation, a geo-exchange heating and cooling system, and a solar thermal system for hot water.

The building has a gym, library, cafeteria, and offices, with playgrounds on the north and south sides. It sits on 3.5 acres of land, and is configured into an L shape that allows for more natural light exposure. 

See SOM's press release for more on the project.

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