Located less than one mile from coastal waters, this urban elementary school serves 660 students in grades PreK-8 with an environmental curriculum. The City of Stamford wanted to transform a brownfield site into an inspiring educational facility. The resulting design creates a vibrant sense of place and demonstrates ecological stewardship through its four prominent environmental demonstration components: a large intensive green roof for educational use, a rain garden demonstrating the natural filtration process; a rain and stormwater collection system; and a wind turbine demonstrating ‘free energy.’
In addition to the demonstration components, environmental stewardship prompted several other elements: salvaging and reusing the structure and material from the former pharmaceutical R&D facility on site, preservation of the topography, and use of natural light throughout the building. Signage was designed and strategically located to educate occupants and visitors about the environment and school features. The project received LEED Silver Certification for its utilization of many sustainable systems. Most notable are the “green” roof that covers approximately half of the building, an HVAC system that utilizes ice storage, waterless and water-saving systems, a roof rainwater retention system for the gardens, wind turbine power, and passive solar lighting systems.
The building has won two awards: an AIA Connecticut Design Award and the CT Green Building Council Most Intriguing Institutional Award.