A New Haven, CT high school is undergoing major renovations that will revitalize the 225 student school. Common Ground High School is a unique mix of a high school, an urban farm, and an environmental education center. A new center is currently underway which will include science labs, an art studio, and a multipurpose space for community gatherings, performance, and athletics.
This project is extraordinary in many ways. The new center is one of the first buildings in the United States to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the primary structure. The project was designed by Gray Organschi Architecture who are known for their sustainable approaches to building design and maximizing the use of renewable materials in their buildings. On the project website, Gray Organschi Architecture highlight the building’s black spruce CLT and heavy timber trusses. By using timber in the structural components, the building’s structural system offsets an estimated annual emission equivalent of 77 cars.
The center also boasts on-site energy production, storm water treatment, natural solar illumination, and passive ventilation. Construction on Common Ground began in October, 2013 and is expected to be completed May, 2016.