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Adam Clayton Powell Paideia Academy

Chicago, IL LEED Gold for Schools


Chicago, IL LEED Gold for Schools

Children in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade attending Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Paideia Academy on the southeast side of Chicago, Ill., received the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art environment when their new school opened its doors in January 2011. Inspired by the stunning lake views that serve as the school’s backdrop, Chicago-based architectural firm, Interactive Design Inc. (IDEA) served as the architect of record.

Commissioned by the Public Building Commission of Chicago, the school was designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating, but is now well on its way to achieving LEED Gold. The 105,000-square-foot building will house 900 students and features 30 classrooms, science and computer labs, a library, cafeteria, multi-purpose room, art and music rooms, and a gymnasium. 

Top 10 LEED Projects of 2011
1 Cooper Carry Offices LEED-CI Platinum
Atlanta, GA
2 Pratt’s Myrtle Hall LEED-NC gold
New York, NY
3 KeyBank Higbee Building LEED-CI gold
Cleveland, OH
4 San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2 LEED-CI gold
San Francisco, CA
5 Adam Clayton Powell Paideia Academy LEED gold for schools
Chicago, IL
6 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee LEED-NC gold
Chattanooga, TN
7 Arlington Free Clinic LEED-CI gold
Arlington, VA
8 Patrick Heath Public Library LEED-NC Gold
Boerne, TX
9 Stylex Showroom LEED-ci Silver
Chicago, IL
10 Andaz 5th Avenue LEED silver
New York, NY
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Selecting appropriate yet durable materials that will last the 100-year expected lifetime of the building was challenging. The team selected terrazzo as the flooring product for the majority of the facility for its recycled content and durability. Similarly, Ground Face Concrete Masonry Units (GFCMU) were specified for all interior corridor walls, which will last the lifetime of the building and provide a beautiful yet easily maintainable surface that includes recycled content. Ceiling tiles with a high recycled content have been installed throughout the building, and low-VOC paint was used on all painted walls and soffits.

Other sustainable goals realized include:


sustainable sites

  • Constructed on a remediated brownfield site
  • Both the roof and site hardscape materials have a high degree of reflectivity which contribute less to the urban heat island effect on and around the building
  • 50 percent of the roof surface is vegetated


water efficiency

  • Landscape plantings include adaptive and native species, which require less water. Irrigation is provided only during plant establishment
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures with sensors reduce building water usage by more than 40 percent energy & atmosphere
  • Energy-using systems are designed to perform over 21 percent better than facilities of similar size and use


materials & resources

  • More than 90 percent of waste from construction was recycled.
  • This school contains close to 23 percent recycled materials
  • More than 30 percent of the materials used for this building were manufactured within 500 miles of the project site
  • Approximately 51 percent of the wood used in this building came from sustainably managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)


indoor environmental quality

  • The school was designed to provide daylight to more than 81 percent of the classroom areas and outdoor views in close to 92 percent of regularly occupied spaces