SOM breaks ground on New York’s First Net Zero Energy School

Aerial ©

A few days before the wrath of Sandy, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) broke ground on what will be the first net zero energy school in and the Northeast U.S. Located on a 3.5-acre site on Staten Island, at the intersection of Crabtree Avenue and Bloomingdale Road, P.S.62 Richmond will serve 444 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. When completed in Fall of 2015, the cutting-edge primary school will harvest as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses on an annual basis.

Learn more after the break…

Sustainability Diagram © SOM

Roger Duffy, FAIA, SOM Design Partner and head of the firm’s Education Lab describes this project as “an extraordinary opportunity to help define the next generation of energy efficient school buildings for New York City and beyond.”

North Facade © SOM

Designed to comply with the SCA Green Schools Guide in lieu of LEED certification, the project will be NYC School Construction Authority’s (SCA) first “sustainability lab.” This exploration into ultimate sustainability will provide substantial benefits to the City’s School Design Program and help achieve PlaNYC goals for significant reductions in global warming emissions. With SOM’s design, P.S.62 will offer an energy-use reduction of 50% over a SCA standard public school.

Lower Corridor © SOM

SOM optimized the orientation and massing of the courtyard-shaped building to take advantage of sunlight for both ample daylighting and photovoltaic arrays on the roof and south façade. Other sustainable and low-energy features incorporated in the design include an ultra-tight high-performance building envelope, daylit offset corridors, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, low-energy kitchen equipment, a greenhouse and vegetable garden, a geo-exchange system, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a solar thermal system for hot water.

Elevation © SOM

Architects: SOM
Location: Staten Island, New York 
Area: 3.50 acres
Project Area: 68,068 ft2
Completion Year: 2015

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "SOM breaks ground on New York’s First Net Zero Energy School" 31 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>