SOURCE: Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

October 05, 2009 16:11 ET

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton Dedicates Opening of New "Green" Building

Anticipates LEED Platinum Certification From the U.S. Green Building Council

ATHERTON, CA--(Marketwire - October 5, 2009) - Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, dedicated its new environmentally friendly building, the Michael J. Homer Student Life and Science Center (Homer Center), over the weekend. The Homer Center is the first commercial building in the town of Atherton and the first school building in Silicon Valley to be built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards for new construction, which is the highest LEED rating a building can receive from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

"Our goal is to provide 21st century learning opportunities for our students, and constructing an eco-friendly building as part of our educational environment was a high priority for us," said Richard Dioli, head of schools for Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. "We're thrilled that our new Science and Student Life Center will provide many opportunities for our students to discover the importance of conservation so they can become good stewards of our planet."

Named a winner of California Construction magazine's 2009 Best of Awards for design and construction in the K-12 education category for Northern California, the two-story building was built from the ground up and designed by Leddy Matum Stacy Architects and built by DPR Construction, Inc. The Homer Center encompasses 44,000 square feet and was built along an east/west axis to take maximum advantage of solar access and prevailing winds to reduce the cost of heating and cooling the building. It also features natural lighting and ventilation and use of renewable and recycled materials which include recycled cotton/denim used for insulation of the interior walls, 73 skylights throughout the building, solar panels, and formaldehyde-free plywood and sustainable wood products.

Other environmentally friendly features include water-efficient toilets and faucets to reduce water consumption by over 40 percent; a 40K photovoltaic system that converts sun energy (sunlight and UV radiation) directly into electricity for the building; a living roof planted with indigenous foliage to provide insulation and reduce storm water runoff, while providing a habitat for native birds and butterflies; and water-efficient landscaping featuring drought tolerant native plants. Over the lifetime of the Homer Center, the school hopes to conserve approximately 60 percent of the amount of energy spent on a traditionally constructed building.

The new state-of-the-art building is named in honor of Michael J. Homer who passed away last year. Homer was a Sacred Heart Schools Trustee and a Silicon Valley technology executive who played a significant role in the development of the personal computer, the hand-held device and the Internet. The Homer Center is funded by Sacred Heart Schools' Capital Campaign, which kicked off in 2008 to raise a minimum of $95 million to build state-of-the art academic facilities across Sacred Heart Schools' campus that integrates 21st century learning and teaching.

View real-time data/statistics on the building at

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton ( was founded in 1898 and is located on a 63-acre campus in Atherton, California. The school is an accredited preschool through twelfth grade school, with a total enrollment of approximately 1070 students, and is a member of the International Network of Schools of the Sacred Heart.

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