This project was a wonderful opportunity to create cost efficient, passive solar, light and bright classrooms for a local Waldorf School.
The design intent was to create two classrooms that were cost efficient utilizing passive solar and sustainable implementations to eliminate air conditioning and reduce overall operating costs. We strategically reduced energy consumption to 50% of typical usage to heat and cool the classrooms. We situated the buildings with tall southern walls to absorb the low winter sun allowing light to reach to the northern most walls. North facing skylights provide additional natural lighting reducing the need for additional lighting on most days and provided an opportunity for school children to modulate airflow throughout the day as an added cooling strategy. Long eaves and skylight shading help mitigate summer sun heat gain, effectively blocking primary rays. The use of a thickened hydronic radiant concrete slab floor helps to both provide a cost efficient heat source in the Winter months and cooling heat sink in the Summer months with its high thermal mass. Integrating the finished floor as the structural floor and designing a simple shed roof are only two of many design features that kept costs to a minimum and eliminated the need for conventional air conditioning.
The teachers and students were our involved clients for this project and both have loved teaching and learning in these light and bright comfortable spaces.