Richardsville Elementary School

Warren County Board of Education · Bowling Green, Kentucky
72,285 SF/500 Students
First Net Zero Energy School in the U.S.
LEED Silver Certified, Energy Star



Richardsville Elementary is a compact two-story design oriented north-south for daylighting and solar strategies, and built into a hillside, which together reduce the impact on the natural site.

 



PROJECT PHOTOS


PROJECT DETAILS

The Nation’s First Net Zero Energy Public School

The new Richardsville Elementary School is situated on a hillside site overlooking a community park and natural wooded ravine. It was built on the same site as the old Richardsville Elementary, and materials from the old school, such as fieldstone veneer and parquet wood flooring, were salvaged and incorporated into the new facility.

Having collaborated on several highly successful high performance schools, the WCPS challenge set forth for the Richardsville Elementary School design team was to provide a school that demonstrated a “net zero” energy demand, as well as, water efficiency, a sustainable site, material and resource conservation, and an indoor/outdoor environment to promote a healthy progressive learning atmosphere while reducing life cycle maintenance costs and eliminating energy costs altogether.

The result was the first total energy net zero public school in the nation, and the only net zero energy school in Kentucky.

A 248 kw photovoltaic array consisting of roof-mounted thin film panels and a shade structure of mono-crystalline panels provide 100% of the building’s energy needs annually. Providing enough solar energy to power the building was the easiest aspect of the design team’s challenge, the greatest obstacles included:

  • The dramatic energy reduction goal of 75% less energy usage than the average school
  • Affordability – Total construction cost, including solar array, could not exceed the KDE standard budget for a conventional elementary school.

The final design focuses on the following aspects identified and implemented by the design team:

  • High performance building envelope (ICF walls and R-32 roof)
  • Daylight harvesting for classrooms, corridors, and public spaces
  • Geothermal HVAC (w/distributive pumping and hot water generation)
  • Site-produced solar energy
  • “Green” kitchen energy use reduction strategies
  • Operations/Maintenance plan

Another important aspect of the design focused on the students and the integration of the energy saving and sustainable features of the building into the curriculum to create a learning environment of curiosity and imagination.

Energy dashboards demonstrate the building’s usage connecting teachers, students and the community to the knowledge of real world energy usage. Through a series of themed hallways, students are immersed in the knowledge of the building systems and performance, encouraging a “culture of inquiry”.

  • The “geothermal hallway” with exposed system components displays temperature gauges to watch the earth at work.
  • A “solar hallway” allows students to see the amount of energy transferred from the sun to laptop batteries.
  • A “water conservation hallway” displays rainwater collection and filtration through site bioswales.
  • A “recycling hallway” with bins allows students to measure recycling quantities.

The integration of laptops and iPads combined with Wi-Fi access, creates building transparency providing students the ability to obtain knowledge beyond the classroom walls. Within the outdoor classroom the weather station allows students to apply and monitor the impact of weather and the environment on the building’s performance.

FACEBOOK

With our extensive experience in the design of student housing, Sherman Carter Barnhart knows creative design solutions will lead to better learning and a sense of community.

Over the next few days, we are going to highlight key design strategies.
They Aren't "Dorms" Anymore
Today’s college students embrace housing facilities that are lively, engaging, state-of-the-art, and sustainable.

Sherman Carter Barnhart's design solutions evaluate the entire campus and campus fabric to engage the residence hall with the university campus as a whole. Residence halls are not isolated but instead a key component to the campus. Residence halls are walkable, amenity-filled communities that more closely resemble a mixed-use apartment complex than what we once called a dormitory.
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2 days ago

With our extensive experience in the design of student housing, Sherman Carter Barnhart knows creative design solutions will lead to better learning and a sense of community.  Over the next few days, we are going to highlight key design strategies. 
They Arent Dorms Anymore
Today’s college students embrace housing facilities that are lively, engaging, state-of-the-art, and sustainable.  Sherman Carter Barnharts design solutions evaluate the entire campus and campus fabric to engage the residence hall with the university campus as a whole. Residence halls are not isolated but instead a key component to the campus.  Residence halls are walkable, amenity-filled communities that more closely resemble a mixed-use apartment complex than what we once called a dormitory.

 

Comment on Facebook

When I describe what it was like living in Haggin Hall (the old one) in '78 .... Oliver (son who lived in Lewis Hall as a freshman and still as a sophomore) just looks at me weird .... he just can't imagine .... nice work SCB !

Wish I could be a student now!

With our extensive experience in the design of student housing, Sherman Carter Barnhart knows creative design solutions will lead to better learning and a sense of community.

Over the next few days, we are going to highlight key design strategies.

Fostering Privacy & Community
It's a balancing act. On one side the majority of freshmen coming to campus have never shared a bedroom. They want to choose how and when they socialize. On the other side, university and college officials know a sense of community must exist for students to succeed.

Our design solutions provide a balance. Student rooms feature private sleeping and study areas coupled with community eating and socializing spaces. To continue to foster a sense of community, each residence hall features kitchens, lounges and study spaces.

To learn more about our student housing designs click here: www.scbarchitects.com/category/projects/student-housing/
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

With our extensive experience in the design of student housing,  Sherman Carter Barnhart knows creative design solutions will lead to better learning and a sense of community.  Over the next few days, we are going to highlight key design strategies.  Fostering Privacy & Community
Its a balancing act. On one side the majority of freshmen coming to campus have never shared a bedroom. They want to choose how and when they socialize. On the other side, university and college officials know a sense of community must exist for students to succeed.  Our design solutions provide a balance. Student rooms feature private sleeping and study areas coupled with community eating and socializing spaces. To continue to foster a sense of community, each residence hall features kitchens, lounges and study spaces.  To learn more about our student housing designs click here: https://www.scbarchitects.com/category/projects/student-housing/

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All Rights Reserved - Contact Us
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