Environmental Magnet School goes Platinum

Mary M. Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School

Hartford, Connecticut

A 3,600-gallon pond filled with koi, an aquatics laboratory with 50 freshwater and salt water tanks, a planetarium with a 28-foot digital projection dome, and a greenhouse are among the many "green" features integrated into Mary M. Hooker Magnet School's curriculum. With a theme focused on energy efficiency and environmental responsibility, the entire facility is used as a teaching tool.

 

It hardly comes as a surprise then, that this environmental science-focused magnet school was certified as LEED Platinum, the highest national rating for eco-friendly buildings and the first public school in the state awarded the distinction.

 

BVH provided MEP/FP engineering design for this 74,000-SF renovation and 31,000-SF addition of this school, which serves 660 students in grades Pre-K through 8. Expanded parking and a new cafeteria were also among the improvements.

 

The new addition contains a butterfly vivarium, a 30-seat interactive science theater, and a weather station. The lobby’s electronic kiosk gives live updates on the building’s energy consumption. Moreover, the butterfly vivarium and greenhouse use mulch that in a previous cycle was the school’s cafeteria scraps, composted in outdoor "earth bins."

 

Classrooms are equipped with solar sensors that control how much artificial light can be turned on to supplement the daylight. On the roof — white to reflect sunlight and keep the building cooler during the hot months — are solar panels and a weather station. At least 35 percent of the building’s electricity usage is from renewable resources.

 

Architect

BL Companies

 

Size / Cost

36,000 SF / $13 million

 

Certification

LEED Platinum

 

Awards

CREW CT 2012 Annual CT Real Estate Awards

"Best Sustainable Design Project"

 

Learning By Design 2011 Outstanding Project, General Excellence, Sustainability Award

 

AIA CT People's Choice Award 2011

 

Business New Haven Connecticut Green Building Award

 

CTGBC, 2011 Alexion Pharmaceutical's Award of Excellence and the Commercial Institutional,

Award of Honor

 

CT Building Congress 2011 Project Team Award,

Award of Merit

 

Services

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing/fire protection