The simplistic design showcases the beauty of its environment while becoming a living “teaching tool” to learn about the environment and the finalized construction choices. This new two-story private school building serves pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students. One major goal of the school was to reduce their energy usage. As of last year, they are still saving an average of 40%.
The school did not have a dedicated “Facilities Department”. The building was sustainably designed for the teachers to handle the buildings operations. The school earned a LEED certification due to its many “passive” energy conserving features. Heating is provided via a radiant heat, recirculating water system within the concrete floor slab. Additional insulation below the slab minimizes thermal transfer. Cooling is provided to spaces in the core of the building, including the art suite, multipurpose room, lobby and administration suite. Outside air, when outdoor conditions permit, cools the building, instead of using mechanical equipment. Operable windows, used in conjunction with high efficiency fans, circulate air through the classrooms to provide the required fresh air. Night purging is employed to reduce heat gain within the non-air-conditioned spaces. These fans also redistribute any additional heated air from the south-eastern facade to the north-west wing when possible, thereby reducing the energy requirements and maintaining the desired temperature.