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The UNO Charter Schools’ Soccer Academy in Chicago has been designated a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver facility by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Ghafari served as the Design-Builder for the K-8 school, a 63,000 sq. ft., 3-story facility that houses classrooms, exercise and training facilities, administrative offices, a full-service kitchen and multi-purpose area. The site also includes a soccer field and playground area.
Sustainable elements of the school include a green roof with native vegetation, the use of locally manufactured and recycled materials, and an energy-efficient building envelope. The project was designed, permitted and constructed within a remarkable time frame of less than a year, opening in time for the start of the academic year in September of 2011.