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LEED(R) Gold Certification Awarded to the Orchard School Library
By marketwire

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/12/12 -- The Orchard School library has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The school's new library, constructed by Blach Construction Company, represents the third K-12 public school building in California and the first in Santa Clara County to be awarded the Gold designation for new construction.

"We had a clear vision of building a library that was communal, modern, and inspiring for 21st century learning, while ensuring it operated efficiently and affordably," said Jackie Felbinger, Director of Educational Services for the Orchard School District. "We are pleased to offer students a facility with environmentally friendly design elements that support the healthy learning environment our students deserve."

The 6,000 s.f. library is located at the center of the campus and links the elementary and middle schools. The building includes full-height glass, a natural wood screen, and houses shelving for the 18,000-volume collection. The library also features a new technology lab for up to 36 students.

"We are extremely honored to have played a part in broadening the culture of sustainability at Orchard School," said Ken Schroeder, Project Executive at Blach Construction. "It is not often that public K-12 facilities incorporate sustainable features that meet the high USGBC standards. I hope that this project sets a precedent for many more such environmentally-friendly school buildings in the future."


The building's LEED Gold certification is a result of sustainable design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

  • Existing building reuse of over 95% of existing building floors, walls and roof reduced the carbon footprint of the project by extending the life of what was an existing market rate building and enhancing its performance.
  • Resource demand reduction measures resulted in a construction waste diversion rate of more than 96%, and a 100% total of all wood-based products being Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. In addition, the restrooms achieved a total of 33% water demand reduction.
  • Energy demand reduction measures include: HVAC Energy Management software, daylight and occupancy lighting sensors and controls, a cool roof, window film, window shades, light harvesting, a new high efficiency boiler and Energy Star® appliances.
  • Renewable Energy: The 240KW PV system installed at Orchard School supplies about 420,830 kWh annually, which translates to approximately 50% of the school's annual energy demand.
  • Indoor environmental quality has been improved by providing access to natural light and views throughout the building, careful selection of materials and adhesives, increased ventilation, and large walk off mats to limit dust particles from entering the clean building space.
  • Alternative transportation options are supported by bus stops connecting the site to the community and local train station.

About Orchard School District
The Orchard School District was founded in 1856 and is a safe, caring community of lifelong learners dedicated to high academic standards and the development of independent thinkers.

About Blach Construction Company
Founded in 1970, Blach Construction Company builds structures of enduring quality and value throughout northern and central California. The company's experience encompasses a broad cross-section of commercial, industrial and institutional building types, including education, healthcare, technology, life sciences, professional services and civic/community facilities. Blach is also a recognized leader in sustainable design and construction. The company has three full-service regional offices located in Santa Clara, Monterey and Stockton. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.blach.com.

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Matt Bell
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