Sustainability Incorporated into the High School Renovations
For the past several years we’ve heard “Sustainability” and “Green Initiatives” to describe a variety of practices which businesses and institutions have adopted to “lower their carbon footprint.” Building designers adopt these practices to reduce energy use, operating costs, and to comply with new federal and state regulations. The number of options available to building designers has increased substantially in recent years. BLDD Architects has incorporated many of these features in the design plans for Eisenhower and MacArthur High Schools.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built, and operated. USGBC is best known for the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating systems. Each of the high schools will be submitted for LEED recognition upon completion.
Here are some of the major features being incorporated into the design:
Recycling construction waste at Eisenhower has already significantly reduced the amount of waste being trucked to the landfills. All scrap concrete and metals were recycled. The existing wood bleachers were donated to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center to be cut and rebuilt into school desks for children and schools in third world countries.
Use of recycled products was considered when ordering materials to be used in the construction process.
Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Ground that is 10 feet below the surface has a consistent temperature of 55⁰. Both Eisenhower and MacArthur high school renovation projects will use geothermal energy to heat water to 55⁰ which will be looped through the schools to the heat pumps in the classrooms and other areas. Water will be pumped through a continuous loop system of 300 wells that are 300 feet deep which will heat the water to 55⁰ which will then go to the heat pumps throughout the building. The utility cost savings. The cost savings comes from only heating the 55⁰air to 72⁰ rather than the ambient outside temperature. In addition, the buildings will be air conditionedwhich will provide a much better learning environment. Utility cost savings from geothermal energy use is calculated to repay for itself within the first seven years.
Window systems and walls have been upgraded to current efficiency standards. The systems built in the 1950’s leaked and were single pane glass. The current systems are much better insulated compared to products available 60 years ago.
Daylight controls will dim building lights on sunny days. Sunshades will control light and glare while at the same time, daylight and views will be introduced to the regularly occupied building areas.
Water use reduction will reduce the burden on the municipal water supply and waste systems by 30% by selecting products that conserve water use.
Storage and collection of recyclables will reduce waste generated by building occupants. Areas will be provided paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals will all be covered by a recycling program.
Use of low emitting materials in the choice of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems, and composite wood and agri-fiber products.