Douglas County Elementary School No. 42
RB+B Architects/Hutton Architecture Studio
315 E. Mountain Avenue, #100, Fort Collins, CO 80524
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.
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
The solution to the design challenge included many high-performance
• 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
• 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
• 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
Daylighting: Solatube; Hardware: Ingersoll Rand.
DIV. 14: Elevators: KONE.
DIV. 26: Lighting: Hubbell, Prescolite, KIM, Columbia, Pinnacle,