Bringing Sustainability to Schools

Groundbreaking construction begins at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Located on 12.2 acres of forest in Newtown, CT the newly redesigned school will embrace its natural surroundings by bringing the outdoors in, which will provide a comfortable and healthy environment to its future occupants.

In collaboration with Svigals + Partners and the local community a careful balance of diverse factors were considered during the redesign of the school. The goal was to create a healthy, safe and engaging environment that improves the energy efficiency, environmental impact, and human health effects. Atelier Ten guided the design team on the necessary factors to optimize the project for thermal and visual comfort, and other sustainability goals while managing the project to attain LEED for Schools Gold certification.

Our energy modeling analysis demonstrated an annual energy savings of 33.6% and annual energy cost savings of 35.1% compared to the baseline design. Vegetated open space exceeds that of the building footprint, promoting biodiversity and recreation. Site runoff will be reduced by 36%, limiting disruption of natural hydrology, and decreasing pollution from stormwater runoff. In addition, our shading analysis presented options for reduced solar load over the baseline while lighting power densities were reduce by 30% below ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with use of sensor and automatic lighting controls.  It is intended that the completed project will become a national model for the “School of the Future” incorporating the most current and advanced thinking toward educational approaches, security and high performance design.

Atelier Ten’s New Haven office is providing Environmental Design, Energy Analysis, Lighting Design and LEED Administration.  The environmental design team includes Associate Director Larry Jones, Environmental Designer Lynne Panagotopulous, and Technical Staff Dan Koenig. Our lighting design team includes Associate Director Chad Groshart, Senior Lighting Designer Gus Sanchez and Technical Staff Catherine Leskowat.