Avinash Garde, Principal
The Board had a strong sustainability mandate; the first criterion was a student focussed approach which would evaluate the impact of the design on students and staff. Secondly, we considered features that would reduce operational costs now and in the long term.
It made sense to put in simple to operate but highly efficient systems like a 100% displacement ventilation system which provides excellent indoor air quality and is one of the highest fresh air systems out there that also is energy efficient. The school is heated by an inflow radiant heat system which keeps the building at a lower comfortable stable temperature instead of the ups and downs of forced air. This utilized water in tubes through a thermal mass process instead of heating the air which is highly inefficient.
This was combined with a high performance envelope to reduce solar heat exchange. For example, in the west facing atrium, we went beyond the standard and used a higher quality of glass which has the highest ratio of letting light in while reducing solar radiation exchange.
There is a cool roof on the building to mitigate urban heat island effect and to reduce solar heat gain in the summer. On the site design, we partnered with Evergreen to incorporate “learning grounds”with outdoor classrooms, permeable paving, water storage and natural vegetation.
To help students understand the sustainability features of their new school, we presented the school with a graphic which outlines the green features in language they can understand – it is displayed in the atrium and acts as an effective teaching tool.