The new kindergarten & classroom building designed by Baker Architecture + Design has been designed to be an exciting and functional facility which will promote creativity and facilitate great teaching and student achievement. Since the Duranes campus has limited area, it was especially important that the building was integrated into the site in a non-intrusive way. The building footprint strengthens an existing circulation artery, and maintains a low profile on the north side to allow solar access to this path. Furthermore, the building has numerous sustainable amenities and a real design focus on indoor environmental quality.
Energy and Environmental Design strategies which have been utilized include the following:
Indoor Environmental Quality
- Natural daylighting. Recessed south facing clerestories with steel baffles to diffuse direct heat gain in warmer months while still providing natural daylighting throughout the year and direct heat gain in the winter.
- Reduction of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Acoustic design. Tectum roof panels provide 20% better noise reduction compared to standard lay-in tile ceilings.
- Multiple lighting levels in each classroom will facilitate conservation.
- Efficient HVAC systems
- Locally produced building materials reduce the embodied energies of the building.
- Rainwater harvesting with underground cistern. 85% of the roof drains to a group of 3 downspouts that
direct the rainwater to a 1700 gallon cistern which provides water the community garden.
- Xeric landscaping
- Efficient plumbing fixtures
The site was quite tight; bounded on three sides. This was a logistically challenging aspect of the design and construction. The new Kindergarten & Classroom Building replaced a cluster of 11 portable classrooms which were sited right in the center of the campus, where this permanent building needed to be placed. Portables were temporarily moved to the perimeter of the campus where the students occupied them for the duration of the construction. With the east-west orientation of the building, we were able to take advantage of passive solar. The Kinder Playground was sited directly to the south of the kindergarten classrooms so that each classroom could have direct access to it. A steel portal with concrete benches provides shade in the playground.