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Thomas L. Wells Public School / Baird Sampson Neuert Architects

  • 00:00 - 28 August, 2011
Thomas L. Wells Public School / Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
Thomas L. Wells Public School / Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, © Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

© Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban + 14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Project Team

    Barry Sampson, Seth Atkins, Geoffrey Thün, Ian Douglas, Yves Bonnardeaux, Mauro Carreño, Gregory Reuter, McMichael Ruth, Andria Vacca, Colin Ripley, Jason Lee
  • Structural Engineer

    Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.
  • Mechanical Engineer

    Keen Engineering, Now Part of Stantec Consulting
  • Electrical Engineer

    Mulvey & Banani International
  • Landscape Architect

    Elias + Associates
  • Acoustical Engineer

    Aercoustics Engineering
  • Sustainability

    Ted Kesik
  • Contractor

    Struct-Con Construction
  • Area

    6108.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Text description provided by the architects. Six years ago, Baird Sampson Neuert architects completed Thomas L. Wells Public School. Designed as the first of a new generation of high performance ‘green schools’ by the Toronto District School Board, Thomas L. Wells was intended to serve as a model demonstrating both sustainable design strategies and an overall environmental quality that is conducive to student achievement.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

The project received LEED Silver certification becoming the first LEED elementary school in Canada and was also awarded an American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 2008. Original, energy modeling anticipated a 35% reduction in energy use from the Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) base case, however BSN was pleased to see that recent examination by GreenSource suggests actual performance is much higher at 47% and exceeding expectations.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Thomas L. Wells was designed as a terrain for engagement with learning, society and the environment. The layout of classrooms grouped around courtyards, a central library, and multipurpose room, maximizes green space on the compact site and provides a transparent, stimulating place of growth for young learners as well as civic community for surrounding residents.


Conceived as a ‘system of systems,’ the building integrates architectural design with environmental performance. Classrooms are laid out to maximize solar exposure and their facades are designed for daylighting effectiveness and sun control. Light shelves shade high summer sun and reflect low winter sun deep into the building. A combination of high and low window vents provides effective passive ventilation as an alternative to mechanical cooling and sensors turn off unneeded classroom lights.


The pre-cast concrete floor and masonry structure provide thermal mass to harvest winter solar energy and retard summer heat buildup and are an integral part of the unique displacement air ventilation and radiant floor heating system. Heat in the return air stream is recovered in the central plant along with free heat from bathroom and service room exhaust. Durable materials used throughout promote long term sustainability as well as indoor air quality.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

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Cite: "Thomas L. Wells Public School / Baird Sampson Neuert Architects" 28 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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© Tom Arban

托马斯•韦尔斯公立学校 / Baird Sampson Neuert Architects

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