The Noble Network of Charter Schools is Chicago’s highest performing and largest network of public charter high schools. Founded in 1999, Noble helps make college a reality for low income and minority students. The Mansueto High School project is Noble’s 17th high school campus and the only one located on the Southwest side of Chicago. The previous space housed a 5.5-acre industrial brownfield which was then converted into a 73,000-square-foot school and gymnasium that sits on 8.3-acres and includes a soccer field and interactive spaces. The building includes 29 classrooms, five state-of-the-art science labs, a lecture hall for 60 students, a fitness space, a multi-purpose gymnasium, a full-cooking kitchen, administrative spaces, private offices, and teacher workrooms all centered around an open quadrangle.
Primera provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, lighting and commissioning services for the new high school. The mechanical system, which incorporates several innovative energy-conserving features, includes a 400-ton central chilled water plant and a hot water heating system. All spaces (excluding the gymnasium) are mechanically heated and cooled using a variable refrigerant flow mechanical system which saves energy, reduces operating costs, and allows the overall building volume to decrease due to more compact ductwork. The project is one of the first schools in Chicago to employ this mechanical system. The design of the electrical systems includes power distribution, lighting and special systems including fire alarm, security and the infrastructure for the audio-visual and voice/data systems. Other sustainable elements, apparent throughout the building and landscaping, include energy efficient wall systems, high-performance skylights and windows, rainwater harvesting and recycled asphalt pavement. The project is seeking LEED for Schools certification.