Texas School is LPA’s 200th LEED Certified Project

Milestone is the latest sustainable design achievement for the integrated firm, which has collaborated on one of the largest portfolios of LEED-certified buildings in the country.

IRVINE, CA — September 13, 2023 The new Sheffield Elementary School in Dallas, Texas recently earned LEED v4 certification, marking the 200th project designed by LPA Design Studios certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s seminal green building rating system.

LPA was an early adopter of the LEED program and has designed one of the largest portfolios of LEED-certified projects in the country. An integrated design firm with architects, engineers, landscape architects and designers, LPA has worked with clients across a wide variety of market sectors and scales to achieve LEED benchmarks, including civic, education, commercial, recreation and healthcare projects. To date, 10 of the firm’s projects have achieved LEED Platinum certification, the system’s highest rating, a distinction earned by fewer than 3% of certified developments.

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Sheffield Elementary School

LPA also has made LEED a core part of its own workplace design: All of LPA’s six studios in California and Texas are either LEED Platinum or LEED Gold.

“We’ve always believed that sustainable design is simply good design,” said LPA President and Chief Design Officer Keith Hempel. “We've had the good fortune of working with clients who share that mission and understand the value of meeting the LEED standards.”

Launched in 2000 by the USGBC, LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — is the world’s most widely adopted sustainable design rating system, providing a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon-reducing green buildings. To achieve certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

“We’ve always believed that sustainable design is simply good design. - LPA President and Chief Design Officer Keith Hempel

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Environmental Nature Center Preschool

LPA designed several LEED landmark buildings, including the first LEED-NC building in the country, the Premier Automotive Group headquarters in 1998. An expansion of Toyota’s corporate headquarters in 2003 was the largest LEED-Gold office campus in the country at the time. The first LEED Platinum project in Orange County was the LPA-designed, net-zero-energy Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. Among a wide range of projects, LPA also designed NASA's first LEED-Gold facility, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Flight Projects Center.

“LEED made us integrate faster,” said LPA Principal Dan Heinfeld. “It helped us understand that we needed to bring in mechanical, civil and structural engineers if we were going to create these highly sustainable, high-performance buildings. We couldn’t continue to practice the way we had for 25 years.”

LPA’s 200th LEED project, the 90,000-square-foot Sheffield Elementary, is the first LEED-certified school built by Carrolton-Farmer’s Branch Independent School District. The design prioritizes human health and energy efficiency. Careful siting and high-efficiency mechanical and lighting systems helped slash energy consumption by 78%. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) materials foster superior air quality; spaces are filled with natural light and learning courtyards are easily accessible from classrooms.

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Sheffield Elementary School

“Sheffield is an excellent example of using LEED as a guideline to create a healthier, more resilient campus,” said LPA Director of Sustainability and Applied Research Ellen Mitchell. “We’re seeing more and more of our Texas clients recognizing the value of sustainable design as good business.”

About LPA Design Studios

LPA is a multi-discipline firm focused on collaboration, inclusion and an integrated design process that connects building performance and design excellence. Founded in 1965, the firm’s mission is to deliver timeless, sustainable designs that benefit the environment, generate lasting value, enrich the human experience, and ensure a better future. With six studios in California and Texas, LPA’s team includes more than 400 in-house architects, master planners, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and research analysts, working across a wide array of sectors. In 2021, LPA was honored as AIA California’s Firm of the Year, the organization’s highest annual honor for an architectural firm. For more information, visit lpadesignstudios.com.