Hellenic American Educational Foundation



Athens, Greece



8,000 m2





The Hellenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF) Preschool & Kindergarten has been certified in October 2014 with LEED Platinum, thus becoming the first LEED Platinum building in Greece, which has been managed by DCarbon.


Accordingly, this project has become a showcase of exemplary performance in sustainable design and construction. Using the LEED Rating System to guide the process from start to finish, the project team employed a variety of strategies to reduce energy and water use, create a healthy indoor environment, rationalize resource demand and implement innovative strategies.


The Foundation decided to build the new educational building within the existing campus. The proximity of the new building to existing facilities provides the new project with opportunities of interactive relationships with the other existing organizations of the campus as well as existing community facilities outside the campus. Moreover, the exposed roof area is covered with a green roof in an effort to provide a seamless integration of the new building to the existing environment and thus enhancing local biodiversity. 


The building envelope is made of concrete or composite exterior walls, glazed facades, and concrete structural slab floors. All roof areas are designed to be planted green roofs. Internal walls are predominantly gypsum board constructions. The facades, in the multipurpose areas, are predominantly glazed and daylighting is provided for most of the areas through fenestration. A skylight is employed for the same purpose. The building is equipped with a horizontal ground-source heat exchanger and corresponding heat pump units, to provide for cooling and heating needs (along with condensing boilers) and also a solar thermal array for domestic hot water production, which also contributes in heating. The building remains closed in the summer season, thus it is not equipped with cooling equipment in the majority of its spaces (only present in office spaces). Cooling in spaces other than office spaces can be available through natural ventilation.


Rainwater harvesting was introduced as a sustainable solution to reducing potable water demand not only for irrigation of the extensive landscape areas but also for toilet flushing. In addition, low flow and flush fittings and fixtures were installed. As a result, the project has achieved to reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by 100% and for flushing toilets by 46%. In order to reduce the disruption of the natural water hydrology, the project has increased on-site infiltration by reducing impervious cover of the area. Instead of asphalt and other impervious materials, porous paving materials were chosen to cover a large area of the site. Moreover, the building’s roof as long as ground areas will be vegetated. These materials promote infiltration and are capable of maintaining high percentages of stormwater runoff, including possible contaminants it may contain. Thus, the natural environment around the development is protected and the stormwater management plan satisfies the desired levels of natural soil conditions’ prevention.


The creation of high quality indoor spaces has been of top priority. Thanks to the project design which allowed sufficient daylight penetration in all regularly occupied areas, the project not only eliminates lighting loads but creates a high-quality indoor environment for the school.


To sum up, the integration of LEED sustainability rating method of this project has been a great challenge for the Foundation since the HAEF Preschool and Kindergarten is a real case-study of a sustainable project enabling the provision of specific lessons to the students of the entire campus.

Sustainability & LEED Consultancy

Sustainability Dissemination

Daylight Simulation

Environmental Site Assessment

ARCHITECT | Alexandros Samaras & Associates


Alexandros Samaras & Associates / Sgoutas Architects
MEP | P.G. Kamarinos Consulting Engineers


PROJECT MANAGEMENT | AP Ergon Plus & Associates / Emenergy Engineering

ACOUSTICS | Gottfried Schubert


LEED Platinum

(LEED v3 for Schools - New Construction & Major Renovation)

LEED platinum
Green Industry Platform
Sustainable Building Council Greece
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