Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates Project Wins LEED Project of the Year – Connellsville Area Senior High School

12Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates – Architects has been awarded the 2015 LEED Project of the Year for Connellsville Area Senior High School (Connellsville Area School District, Connellsville, PA) from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Central Pennsylvania Chapter.  The 2015 Forever Green Gala: Green Building Awards Ceremony ( were held on October 22 at The Bond in York, PA.

Awards were presented to winners in nine categories: Energy Sector Project of the Year, Green Home of the Year, LEED Project of the Year, Commercial Project of the Year, Green School of the Year, Innovative Project of the Year, Higher Education Project of the Year, Adaptive Reuse Project of the Year, and Improving the Acceptance of Green.  Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates – Architects entered Connellsville Area Senior High School in the category of LEED Project of the Year.

The School has achieved LEED® Gold Certification.    The School qualified for 47 points under Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design Process.

Judge’s comments included:

  • At one time, Connellsville in southwest PA was the king of coal and coke, with beehive ovens lighting up the hillsides at night.  This past May, while biking along the Great Allegheny Passage through Connellsville, I witnessed the remnants of these coke ovens overgrown with vegetation and saw orange-colored acid mine drainage alongside the trail.  These are a few of the reasons why I found this green building application so intriguing as a judge, as this community has completely transformed its image by designing & constructing a LEED Gold certified high school! 
  • The project consisted of major renovations & additions to the school which was originally built in 1970.  An integrated design process resulted in a school that will utilize 31.2% less energy than a standard building.  Additional green elements include energy recovery units, spray foam insulation, high reflectivity roof, use of the school as a community center, green cleaning, and integrated pest management.  The school also features improved acoustics, which aids in student learning. 
  • A huge focus of the school district was to build upon the resource they already owned and thereby minimize the cost of construction and reduce wastes.  This goal jives with our industry’s mantra…the greenest building is the one that’s already built!  Thus, 95% of existing structural elements were maintained within the original school building. 
  • The district also stressed that sustainability does not end with construction…the building will be a catalyst for students to carry conservation practices into daily use of the building and then into their lives as members of the community.