In addition to serving its student population, the North Clackamas High School acts as a center for the larger community. Divided into four two-story academic houses with a central library/media area, the building provides flexibility and the integration of instruction, technology, and spaces for social interaction and community use.
The North Clackamas School District established two basic goals for the design of the new high school: to create a facility that would meet the educational needs of students and to do so within a modest budget. The creation of a high-performance, green building was not considered a primary aim. In fact, at the time, there was little interest in sustainable design. However, energy efficiency, high-quality indoor environments, environmental responsibility, and resource efficiency became integral to meeting the school district's established goals.