Dr David Suzuki Public School – LEED Platinum

Dr David Suzuki Public School – LEED Platinum

The Dr. David Suzuki Public School was the first educational facility in Canada to achieve LEED® Platinum certification. It features multiple renewable energy technologies, including the SolarWall® air heating system on the front facade. The goal of this project was to provide a model for other school boards on how to target different green building certifications, with the hope of making carbon-free schools the new standard of the future.


Initially this school was going to be a standard new-build aimed at consolidating two existing schools. Retired Superintendent of Program Rod Peturson suggested an environmental educational theme called “Earth Keepers” for this new school development, which ended up being adopted. The Greater Essex County District School Board approached the Ministry of Energy about the possibility of developing this new school as a demonstration site for innovative energy efficient technologies. The school received the support of the Provincial Government for a demonstration site for proven and innovative energy and environmental technologies. The school board suspended its usual process for naming new schools and approached Dr. David Suzuki if he would permit the use of his name on this exciting new school project. Dr. Suzuki agreed to have a public building bear his name (for the first time). With ambitious environmental focus, it was decided a LEED® Platinum rating would be the overall goal for the project. A myriad of the best environmental technologies were chosen by the architects at McLean + Associates to be a part of this project, including a SolarWall® air heating system to heat ventilation air.


The SolarWall technology was selected to address ventilation heating, which is an extremely important consideration for a school. The heated fresh air from the SolarWall system is ducted to one of the air handling units where it offsets the daytime heating load. The Dr. David Suzuki Public School also features geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar PV panels, a windmill, grey water recovery & reuse systems, GPS tracking skylights, solar light tubes, and a highly reflective roof.