Dallas High School Earns LEED Gold

By Aziza Jackson

DALLAS — Merriman Anderson/Architects (MAA) recently announced that the historic Dallas High School has achieved LEED Gold certification.

The 102,000-square-foot, four-story building was built in 1907 and sat empty for nearly two decades before being purchased by Matthews Southwest and redeveloped into 78,000 square feet of historically converted office space, along with 10,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and outdoor patio space.

MAA is the design architect, historic architect and architect of record for the building shell and interior restoration, including the LEED certification process.

In order to receive LEED gold certification, MAA implemented many sustainable site and material strategies, as well as envelope improvements to optimize energy efficiency.

“To increase the energy performance of the building, the envelope was improved per historic preservation standards, which was the biggest challenge,” said Aimee Sanborn, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal and Team Leader at Merriman Anderson/Architects. “However, with the envelope and lighting improvements, combined energy savings improved by more than 21.9 percent.”

A few sustainable site strategies included the abatement of contaminants in the existing building, such as the installation of native vegetation with drip irrigation and priority parking for fuel-efficient vehicles as well as on-site electric charging stations.

Highly reflective thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing membrane, an efficient HVAC system, and LED lighting were all established within the building to improve energy efficiency. With the installation of low flow fixtures, the potable water use within the building was reduced by more than 49.31 percent.

More than 99.64 percent of the existing core and shell were reused, and products were installed that possessed recycled content reducing the amount of construction waste. To improve the environmental health throughout the building, MAA installed low-emitting materials.

Dallas High School recently won a 2018 Preservation Dallas Achievement Award, which honors Dallas’ outstanding residential and commercial historic preservation projects and the individuals who are committed to making Dallas a better place to live by protecting its architectural heritage.