Worcester, MA

Nelson Place Elementary School

The Nelson Place Elementary School in Worcester was designed as a 600 student, pre-K through 6th grade neighborhood school, which also serves 50% of the district’s autism population. The 110,000 SF design incorporates inclusive learning methods and climate control for year round use.

The City of Worcester made a commitment to environmental sustainability, targeting net zero energy, to the greatest extent possible within the budget, for Nelson Place Elementary School as part of a bigger Climate Action Plan to reduce Worcester’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The project was designed with the goal of generating enough onsite renewable energy to equal the amount of energy consumed annually. The design team worked with the City and school to strike a careful balance between program, budget and sustainability. The building includes many sustainable features that result in an 88% energy cost savings compared to a baseline building, including the use of photovoltaic solar panels and LED lighting. Other features include highly insulated walls, roof, and windows, along with efficient mechanical systems and controls.

The predicted energy use savings for the new school are 65% and water use savings are 22% over the baseline. The new school is twice the size of the existing Nelson Place School building, but is projected to use half the energy. The Nelson Place Elementary School is targeting Net Zero Electricity and is LEED for Schools v4 Silver certified. 

  • The Massachusetts Department of Energy reported that it is the most efficient public building built to date, based on the energy modelling.

  •  Nelson Place Elementary School is also the first LEED v4 for Schools certified building in the state of Massachusetts.

Owner: City of Worcester

Architect: Lamoreux Pagano Associates

Owner's Project Manager: AECOM Tischman

Construction Manager: Fontaine Bros.


Photography: Courtesy of Lamoreux Pagano Associates