Sustainable Design

Mills River and Hillandale Elementary Schools

Henderson County Schools, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hillandale and Mills River Elementary Schools share a common design built on two different sites in Henderson County, North Carolina. The two schools provide learning space for up to 722 students each, with core spaces sized to accommodate as many as 800 students through future classroom additions. Henderson County Public Schools’ primary energy goal for the design of these schools was to minimize utility costs while obtaining a reasonable payback period on any investment made to achieve an improved performance. Although a wide variety of HVAC, lighting, and building envelope improvements were included in the schools’ design, three main strategies played a central role in delivering energy use reductions: integrated daylighting, demand-controlled ventilation and dedicated outside air systems, and energy management.  Consequently, these two schools are the first facilities in Henderson County to earn LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications.   According to ratings received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program for buildings, both Hillandale and Mills River have nationally ranked in the 90th percentile of K-12 building energy performance in each of their three years of operation.

For additional details on the schools’ energy performance, please review our detailed case study .