Project DescriptionThis new two-story school building is situated on a wooded suburban site and serves grades from pre-kindergarten through 8th. It was designed as a living "teaching tool" so the students, families and the community can learn about the environment & construction choices that were made. One of the visions was to utilize every "nook and cranny" of the entire building. The building was designed so that every space does something, if not multiple things. Students have the opportunity to find a small place, even the uniquely designed hallways to read, observe nature or just sit quietly and learn from others.
In September 2006, the project achieved certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, using LEED 2.0 criteria, and includes a number of energy conserving features. Heating is provided via a radiant heat, recirculating water system within the concrete floor slab. The heating for individual rooms are on separate zones to allow for maximum control. Additional insulation below the slab minimizes thermal transfer. In addition to the radiant heating system, cooling is provided to spaces in the core of the building, including the art suite, multipurpose room, lobby and administration suite. All air handling units are designed to employ an economy cycle, which allows the units to use up to 100% outside air, when outdoor conditions permit, to cool the building, instead of using mechanical equipment to provide mechanical cooling. 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.