Chartwell, Seaside, California

With a goal of achieving net-zero electrical usage (grid neutral), Chartwell is the 1st LEED platinum K-12 campus and a role model for the State of California´s ambitious initiative to mandate grid neutral schools by 2010.

Founded in 1983 to advance the education of dyslexic children, Chartwell had limited resources when, 20 years later, the need for the creation of a living laboratory that would illuminate how buildings are assembled and make the most of the schools, was born.

Gladly that wasn’t an issue for EHDD architects who worked on Chartwell’s campus and managed to include the best-known practices for energy efficiency and created an optimal learning environment.

So, lets see what makes Chartwell one of the Top Green Projects for 2009:

- Daylighting/lighting controls – incorporates natural light to save electricity, reduce HVAC equipment, and contribute to an enhanced learning environment.- 32kW photovoltaic system – generates onsite electricity that cuts electric bills by more than half, and avoids 54,000 lbs of C02 annually.

- Water saving features – reduces campus water use by 60% by using waterless urinals, dual flush toilets, and an 8,700 gallon rainwater cistern.- Sustainable framing design – Twenty-four inch (rather than 16”) framing reduced wood use by 30%, and the majority of the wood purchased was certified for sustainability by the Forest Stewardship Council.

- Construction waste diversion – Eighty-two percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled.- Waste reutilization – inclusion of slag (iron-ore byproduct) improved concrete quality while reducing C02 emissions.- Improved indoor air quality - selection of paints, finishes, and furnishings with no VOC content reduced likelihood of irritating or toxic fumes that can trigger allergies or other negative health effects. Indoor CO2 monitors adjust ventilation rates.


  1. Really awesome blog. I enjoyed reading this review from you. I found that you really update your site regularly that made me more interesting. I've bookmarked your site for my future use.

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  2. What a wonderful School. It's so open and airy. I would love for my kids to go there. The use of natural light to help lower electrical usage is something every school could do if they would just open up the shades and let the sun shine in.

  3. A really great school with an eco friendly design that sets an example.