Originally accessed:
United States Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
"Since Argonne shares its site with San Francisco's largest community garden, neighbor and community participation were essential to the design of the project. The new school building incorporates the surrounding gardens and play areas to stretch the concept of a classroom. Environmental Aspects Strong community advocacy pushed the design of the Argonne Child Development Center to be a green building in its solar performance and material selections, but even more to be a sheltering and celebratory spot for their community garden and their children. The building uses simple, even basic, strategies to provide a welcoming and comfortable space for pre-school children and neighboring community gardeners with minimal environmental impact. Sustainable design principles are incorporated to provide natural ventilation, daylighting, and solar energy for the building. The school utilizes building-integrated photovoltaics and recycled and low-VOC "green" building materials are used to provide a healthy environment for the children. This building has no mechanical cooling and a minimal heating system, making simple but effective use of San Francisco's mild climate. Its passive solar design allows for plenty of shade and ventilation in summer and passive gains in winter. Its classrooms can be used almost year-round without artificial lighting, and the building's photovoltaic system generates 25% of the remaining energy load. As San Francisco's first solar-powered school, Argonne also serves as a model and research tool for the whole school district."