Northside High School

  • Location: Roanoke, VA
  • Architect: Spectrum Design
  • Owner: Roanoke County Public Schools
  • Size: 173,800 SF

Winner of the Clean Valley Council’s Government Award, Northside’s 144,000 square-foot renovation and 29,800 square-foot additions completely transformed this two-story high school while incorporating elements of sustainable design. Originally built in the 1960s, renovations improved overall building efficiency by adding insulation, replacing the original single-pane windows with high-performance models, and installing an ENERGY STAR® white roof. A new plumbing system eliminated use of an existing well to both improve water quality and prevent groundwater degradation, while landscaping and a new storm water management system have reduced runoff and the heat-island effect from the parking lots. Most notably, Northside was the first school within the greater Roanoke Valley to add a geothermal heating and cooling system—eliminating onsite fossil fuels and reducing natural gas consumption by nearly 90%. New electrical systems throughout the building reduce energy consumption through an energy management system to automatically control heating and cooling demands, as well as lighting controls and sensors. Additionally, renovations upgraded the auditorium, kitchen, and cafeteria areas, added Smart Board technology to existing classrooms, refurbished locker rooms and gym spaces, and created an outdoor Senior dining area complete with a “green” wall. Safety upgrades include all new communication systems with intercoms and telephone handsets in each classroom, a fully sprinkled building, and a fire alarm system with direct communication to Roanoke County Emergency Services. New spaces allowed for security improvements, while additional modern classrooms, labs, and expanded administrative areas increased Northside’s overall student capacity.

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