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This project tackles sustainability from multiple fronts. From the beginning, special care was given to the materiality, massing and orientation of the building. The walls will be clad in brick, stucco, and wood siding – widely available and durable – they are great aesthetic and economic choices. The glazing, insulated glass with Low-E coating, prevents heat gain from sun in summer and prevents heat loss in winter. Multiple sun shading strategies such as the deep porches and pergola create opportunities for large glazing expanses to connect to the outdoors but minimize direct sunlight and heat transfer in the summer months. These strategies decrease dependence on mechanical strategies without interfering with user experience. Low flow fixtures, LED lighting and occupancy control sensors further reduce this need in other areas.


The building systems have been carefully considered to create efficient operation. Mechanical equipment with minimal power requirements will be used. These efficiencies are bolstered by the building envelope which uses thermal barriers in the roof and wall to minimize temperature fluctuation and a light-colored roof to reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain. Additionally, more low to no-energy alternatives, such as ceiling fans to reduce ambient temperature, indoor plants for air purification, and abundant natural light are used to achieve a comfortable and healthy environment.


Several strategies have been employed to responsibly manage the site’s inherent resources. The sloped lunchroom roof capable of hosting a PV array optimally positioned to capture solar energy. Rainwater will be harvested from the roof and cycled back into the school’s gardens or other learning initiatives. The decorative landscape added will be native plants which require minimal water, stretching the impact of this resource. When this resource proves overabundant, porous paving surfaces will prevent excessive water runoff into the sewers and keep this resource on site.

Building Systems

  • Mechanical – energy efficient equipment with minimum power requirements

  • Electrical – LED lighting, occupancy control sensors, daylight sensors use less energy

  • Plumbing – low flow fixtures use less water for operation

  • Ceiling fans – use low energy to operate and help users feel cooler and reduce ambient temperature

  • Thermal barrier in walls and roof – minimize building temperature fluctuation and increases efficiency of mechanical units.

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