Hopewell Elementary School

Originally built in 1970, Southern Lehigh School District’s existing Hopewell Elementary School was at end of life and in need of replacement. In order to build a school meeting School District standards and desires, the School District and Upper Saucon Township arranged a land swap whereby the new Hopewell Elementary School was constructed on land previously owned by the township and part of the existing School property in exchange for providing the township space to develop a community park next to the new school and build community soccer fields on school property. Pursuing LEED for Schools 2009 Gold Certification through an Alternative Clean Energy (ACE) grant from the State of Pennsylvania, the Hopewell Elementary School was designed to create a bright and comfortable space for young learners. Large, colorful patterns of flooring, access to outdoor views, and lighting that can be adjusted to meet occupant’s needs and preferences create a productive learning atmosphere. A combination of light shelves, dimmable LEDs, occupancy and daylight sensors incorporated into the project ensure appropriate lighting levels and lighting quality while minimizing wasted energy. Additionally, highly efficient water-to-water heat pumps in conjunction with two rooftop heat recovery ventilators equipped with variable air volume units provide the building with economical, cost effective heating and air conditioning. The design also includes a high degree of individual thermal comfort control, ensuring occupants that their learning space will be comfortable. Low VOC carpets, paints, adhesives, and other construction materials help ensure indoor air quality of a high standard, promoting the health and well being of students, staff, and faculty. Water conserving fixtures and native and/or adaptive landscaping considerably reduce water consumption, while a conscious emphasis on recycled and regional content through the design, bidding, and construction process has reduced the new building’s embodied energy.


Photos provided by KCBA Architects

Grant funds were used to purchase a photovoltaic solar array, which provides 20.8% of the building’s total energy, with the overall energy efficiency strategies employed in the project reducing the projects annual energy costs by over 50% when compared to the ASHRAE baseline for comparable buildings and systems. The aforementioned water conservation strategies reduced the projects total annual water consumption by 34% for flow and flush fixtures, and the elimination of permanently installed irrigation systems greatly reduces ongoing water use for exterior plantings and grounds.


For additional project information, please contact:

Michael Kelly, AIA, LEED AP

KCBA Architects


The full project team is the following:  KCBA Architects, Snyder Hoffman Engineering, Barry Isett Associates, D’Huy Engineering, The Stone House Group, Metro-Acoustics and Borton-Lawson.
The Stone House Group (SHG) provided LEED Administration and Energy Modeling services for the project.