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Photo Credit: Michael David Rose  

Gap Corporate Campus 901 Cherry

The vision for the new Chartwell School campus was to create an exceptional, high-performance learning environment for children with learning differences, including dyslexia. The design team concentrated on integrated design strategies proven to improve learning outcomes and sought to create a campus that would function as a teaching tool about sustainability while dramatically reducing the school's environmental impact.

Loisos + Ubbelohde worked with the architects to develop daylighting design alternatives for the classrooms, simulate the selected alternatives under clear and overcast skies using Radiance software and fine tune the daylighting design to provide visual comfort and significant electrical savings without increasing energy use for thermal conditioning.

False color Radiance renderings of a typical classroom section showing illuminance with different skylight options.
Plan of typical classroom showing luminance isolux contours

The key ideas for the Chartwell project were: 1) to create the best possible learning environment by providing exceptional daylighting, views, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort; 2) to make the sustainable design strategies a visible part of the students' education by developing the site as a teaching tool with natural drainage and native and food-producing plants; 3) to inspire and excite the community about the possibilities of sustainable design and in turn generate support and private funding; 4) to reach net-zero electricity use through exceptional efficiency and adding photovoltaic (PV) capacity to meet the remaining electrical demand; and 5) to reach these goals with only a modest cost premium.

Campus Plan

All of these goals are intertwined in the resulting Chartwell campus. Tall, north-facing windows and clerestories provide excellent daylighting, support the net-zero electrical goal and improving student outcomes. Sloping shed roofs for good photovoltaic orientation and an extensive measurement and verification system support optimal function of the building and provide learning opportunities for the students. Radiant heat provides a quiet learning environment and reduces the size of mechanical equipment and mechanical rooms. Framing the structure at two feet on center reduces the amount of material used on the project and also saves on overall construction costs.

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EHDD Architecture

Seaside, CA

Occupied, 2006
AIA / COTE Top Ten Green Project, 2009

CBE Living Buildings Award Winner, 2009

USGBC LEED Platinum Certification, 2008

AIA San Francisco Chapter, Energy and Sustainability Honor Award, 2007

Collaborative for High Performance Schools Green Apple Award, 2007

Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Award, 2007

Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, 2007

cross Classroom interior.