LEED Platinum School on the North Shore

Event Date: 

Friday, August 18, 2023




Saugus, MA

CEU Information: 



$25 Members/$35 Non-Members

Edit: Thank you to our sponsors and attendees for making this event a success. We have uploaded some photos from this event here.

Join NESEA as we tour the award-winning Saugus Middle High School Complex, the first state-funded school to earn LEED Platinum certification. This recently-completed 271,000 square foot facility was built to serve over 1,300 students and the community for years to come. The project reduces the site’s carbon emissions and water use and links the town’s past heritage and future needs. 

During this tour, attendees will learn about how the project team, led by our hosts HMFH Architects, aimed to meet the school’s many sustainability and educational goals through a holistic approach to the design.

Highlights include: 

  • A trigeneration plant that produces electricity and captures waste heat for space heating and cooling, will reduce carbon emissions by 49 tons per year, save operating costs and act as backup power, creating a more resilient facility. (With only one other public facility in town with emergency power, it was important to the community that this new facility include emergency power to use as refuge for residents.)
  • The complex uses a pod-based layout plan to provide fabrication labs, collaboration spaces, and project areas that offer hands-on opportunities for exploratory learning. 
  • Inspired by the Saugus River’s central role in the town’s history, the school incorporates water conservation measures including a stormwater collection and reuse systems (for all toilet flushing and exterior irrigation), green roofs that will slow stormwater runoff, and low-flow fixtures, which are projected to save more than 1.5 million gallons of water annually. 
  • The site includes extensive use of bioretention systems that provide visual amenities, reduce heat island impacts, and clean and reduce the speed of stormwater exiting the site. 
  • The town is embracing the use of electric vehicles having plans to augment its DPW fleet and installing three chargers for six EV parking spaces in the visitor parking lot.

The interdisciplinary speaker team will discuss their work on the project, including challenges and solutions associated with incorporating sustainability features into a large public facility with a limited budget. This event will include an opening presentation, small group time with each speaker, a panel Q&A, and a networking reception.

Awards and Recognition

  • Learning by Design's Educational Architecture Awards of Excellence - Grand Prize, 2021
  • ENR New England Best Projects 2021 - Top Educational Project
  • AS&U Educational Facilities Outstanding Design 2021
  • IES Illumination Awards (Environmental Lighting Design) – Honorable Mention Section Award, 2022
  • A4LE Planning & Design Awards – Project of Distinction, 2022


12:30 PM

Doors open, registration, networking and coffee

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA

1:10 PM

Overview of the project by the host

2:00 PM

Tour of project begins; attendees rotate through content-specific stations

3:45 PM

Group Reconvenes back at initial meeting point

4:00 PM

Reception with light refreshments

4:15 PM

Q&A Panel with members of project team

5:00 PM

Event Concludes


If you have questions about this event, you can contact us via protours@nesea.org.


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