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American Institute of Architects
"The new school expands learning beyond the classroom by connecting the district's educational pedagogy with environmental sustainability at every level. The school was designed to preserve and harness the environment as a learning opportunity. The large wooded area along the north end of school's site is valued as a community asset. Creating connections to this rich natural environment became a primary goal in the design process. Two-story classroom wings reach like fingers toward the woods and visually connect students with nature. Between, courtyards landscaped with native plants and enhanced by integrated artwork, serve as outdoor classrooms and feature an intermittent stream fed by roof runoff. Gathering areas for outdoor classes are located within the landscaping. Because daylight and indoor air quality profoundly impact student performance, the school was designed to maximize performance in these areas. The classroom areas of the school are entirely naturally ventilated and daylit. This design also led to exemplary energy performance: the school is anticipated to use only 16,405 Btu per ft2 per year. Comparing baseline data from the old school to that resulting from a post-occupancy evaluation planned over the next year should validate performance results."
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