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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2008 awards


Entry number: B08009
Project Name: CCSD Northwest Career and Technical Academy
Building Type: Educational
Completion Date: July 2007
Architect: SH Architecture
Building Location: 8200 W. Tropical Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89149

Design Team:
Electrical Engineer: MSA Engineering Consultants
Landscape Architect: Southwick Landscape Architecture
General Contractor: Sletten, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Mendenhall Smith Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Taney Engineers
Mechanical Engineer / Plumbing: MSA Engineering Consultants
Energy Consultant / LEED Administrator: The Weidt Group

General Information

  • 217,000 Total square feet
  • 30-Acre site
  • 2,010 Students
  • 104 Sq. ft. per student

Statement of Design Approach:
To provide a high performance facility & superior student environment through daylight, outdoor teaching/learning areas.

The Northwest Career and Technology Academy (NWCTA) is the result of a collaborative planning process that included Clark County School District administrators, educators and facility managers as well  community leaders, industry partners, and design professionals. During the summer of 2003, the planning committee engaged in workshops, tours, and academy-specific planning sessions. The committee was involved in developing the educational programming requirements, high performance building features, and architectural design characteristics of the school. In addition, the committee was part of an energy strategy and LEED™ planning. The school is currently under review and will achieve a Silver rating.

High performance school design was a priority of the committee. High performance schools enhance the learning experience and improve the performance of schools and staff. To achieve this, over 90% of the classroom and offices have natural daylight. The school was design to have excellent air quality and acoustics. A variety of space provide opportunities for collaboration, presentations, display of students work , and multimedia projects.

The school is designed to stimulate real world professional environments. This is reflective in the overall design, which is more like a corporate campus than a high school. The career training labs were designed using the input of the industry leaders and community partners, and therefore reflect the current trends in each field. Each academy is designed to be transparent, meaning labs and project spaces are visible to others. Passersby can observe the work of others, which establishes connections between professions. The school curriculum also supports these connections. For example, students of the transportation technology academy put on a solar car competition. The hospitality and culinary are academies provided concessions, while the media academy recorded the event for broadcast. The medical professions students performed emergency medical simulations and the pre-engineering students built the racetrack. The culture of the NWCTA supports sustainability and healthy living. The school is a wellness school, with a physical education program that emphasizes good health and athleticism. The school operates on half the energy of a typical high school; achieving this energy conservation requires a commitment from all building users. The students and staff are knowledgeable about the sustainable aspects of their school, from the ground source heat pump to the low-flow fixtures to the revegetation areas. The culture of sustainability is reflected in the student-run recycling program and carpooling initiative.

Sustainable Description:
Design Level: USGBC LEED Silver (39 points)


  • Geothermal heat exchange handles 80% of building cooling load, the remaining 20% is cooled with a cooling tower
  • Cooling tower pre-cools the geothermal loop during the night to prepare for the daytime cooling needs
  • Designed to use 40% the energy of a typical school of the same size
  • Energy budget 30,000 BTU/Sq. Ft./ Year ($0.87/Sq. Ft./Year)
  • High-efficiency lighting
  • Natural daylighting
  • Occupancy sensors to manage HVAC and lighting
  • Advanced metering for performance and accountability
  • No Boiler, all domestic hot water heated with building's own waste heat
  • Awarded EPA's Energy Star rating

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Daylighting and views in 90% of the spaces
  • Low VOC finishes, adhesives, and substrates
  • High-performance air filtration
  • Individual climate and lighting controls
  • Acoustics and amplification
  • Enhanced commissioning

Site, Materials, Resources and Innovation

  • Xeriscape, native landscape (no turf)
  • Increased shading (Heat Island Reduction)
  • Fitness trail in conjunction with habitat restoration
  • On-site stormwater handling
  • Recycled steel components, ceiling tile, concrete with fly ash
  • 2725 lbs CO2 emissions annually, 44.2% savings from average building


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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:04 PST