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  Douglas County Elementary School No. 42

Douglas County Elementary School No. 42Architect

RB+B Architects/Hutton Architecture Studio
315 E. Mountain Avenue, #100, Fort Collins, CO 80524

General Description

Location: Parker, Colorado
Date Bid: Oct 2006
Construction Period: Oct 2006 to Nov 2007
Total Square Feet: 73,146 Site: 10.02 acres.
Number of Buildings: 1; 32 classrooms seating capacity 30 each.
Building Size: First floor, 50,232; second floor, 22,914; total, 73,146 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14’; second floor, 15’4”; floor to floor, 14’; total, 29’4”.
Basic Construction Type: New/Steel & Masonry.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, drilled piers. Exterior Walls: CMU, curtainwall, metal siding. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete, precast (first floor). Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: The Sheflin Group, Inc. - 6638 West Ottawa Avenue, #230, Littleton, CO 80128
General Contractor: W. O. Danielson Construction - 2970 South Fox Street, Englewood, CO 80110
Electrical Engineer: The RMH Group - 12600 West Colfax Avenue, #A-400, Lakewood, CO 80215
Mechanical Engineer: Shaffer + Baucom Engineering Consultants - 7333 West Jefferson Avenue, #230, Lakewood, CO 80235
Kitchen Consultant: William Caruso & Associates - 9200 E. Mineral Avenue, #320, Englewood, CO 80112

As the result of a design competition, this Elementary School was designed as an energy efficient prototype, allowing for academic flexibility and adaptation to various sites in Douglas County. The high performance design includes a high-efficiency building envelope coupled with state-of-the-art daylighting strategies. The facility provides significant savings to the Owner by performing at less than half the energy cost of existing schools. Increased occupant comfort, higher student performance, lower energy costs (including 30% smaller than average boilers), and unique design features all add to the success of this innovative educational project.

The challenge of the project was to design a prototype that allowed the most flexibility to accommodate varying sites without compromising the unique attributes of each building. Incorporating sustainable design features added to the challenge but rewarded in a state-of-the-art high-performance school.

The solution to the design challenge included many high-performance design elements:

• Daylighting – Natural light enhances student learning and creates invigorating indoor spaces.
• Sun Shades – Shading the south facing facade reduces heat gain from direct sunlight penetrating through windows and reduces glare inside classrooms.
• Exterior Insulation – Upgraded insulation levels in exterior walls and the roof reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter, resulting in lower utility costs.
• Reduced Cooling Load – Less electrical lighting and shaded southern elevations reduce the annual cooling load. Less air conditioning is needed to maintain the comfort level and energy use is reduced.
• Reduced HVAC Equipment – A lower cooling load allows for the installation of smaller HVAC cooling systems.
• Ice Storage and Peak Demand Reduction – Ice is made at night, taking advantage of off-peak energy rates and is stored in large insulated ice storage tanks. The system then uses this stored ice during the day for cooling.
• Displacement Ventilation – Displacement ventilation supplies air to a space near the floor level with very low velocity. This configuration improves air quality, helps to minimize air movement noise levels and saves energy.

Classrooms filled with natural light have been shown repeatedly to not only improve student performance but also enhance student and staff attitudes and reduce absenteeism. Over half the classrooms in this prototype are able to achieve required light levels without any artificial lighting for most of the school day (the remainder only require about 30% supplemental lighting). Bright, inviting, vibrant spaces are spaces where students want to be.

Marie Unger, Principal of Douglas County Elementary School No. 43 stated, “Our kids have been coming home at the end of their school day with a new enthusiasm for taking care of our environment. It has been reported to me by SEVERAL families that their children are demanding a home recycling program. We even have families who do not live within walking distance (so they have to find their own transportation) and their children have requested a carpool to get them to school!“

“Furthermore, (just last week) a mom shared with me that her daughter wants to eat dinner by candlelight more often, to save energy. She said that her daughter likes it, that we often have plenty of light in the cafeteria and that we don't need to turn on any lights at all.”


DIV. 7: Membrane: Carlisle.
DIV. 8: Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts: United States Aluminum;
Daylighting: Solatube; Hardware: Ingersoll Rand.
DIV. 14: Elevators: KONE.
DIV. 26: Lighting: Hubbell, Prescolite, KIM, Columbia, Pinnacle, Kewall.


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