Ecological Stewardship in School Design
Built on an existing urban brownfield site, formerly an R&D facility for Proctor and Gamble, this new 106,000-SF interdistrict magnet school has a focus on environmental studies, serving 660 children in grades Pre-K through 8.
The green building, integrated into the school’s curriculum, also teaches an awareness of the students’ connection to the earth and their responsibility to care for it.
Eighty percent of the building spaces have natural daylight. Bathrooms and locker rooms use low-flow and low-flush fixtures, resulting in 40% water reduction. Ice storage decreases the chiller size and peak demands by using electricity at night to make the ice and store it in tanks. The stored ice is used during peak cooling periods the next day.
A rain garden with an observation deck demonstrates the natural filtration of rain water on the site. The green roof covers 50% of the building and is located above the media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. The roof, with its varied vegetation, also attracts bird and butterflies and is designed for active use by students to learn about organic and sustainable gardening.
A large holding tank below ground illustrates the concept of storm water run-off and how it can be used onsite to reduce fresh water consumption for irrigation and downstream demands on water treatment systems.
The energy generated from a wind turbine, which is being used to power lobby lights and selected exterior lighting at night, is displayed within the school to provide real-time data about how much energy the wind turbine is producing.
Low mercury fluorescent lighting was also installed, qualifying the project for the Innovation credit under LEED Silver requirements.