Jim G Martin Elementary School was Northside’s first project to pursue the USGBC’s LEED rating. The campus occupies just over 90,000 square feet. The exterior of the school is covered with more natural vegetation and less grass than other schools in the district. Our team incorporated high performance glazing and lighting strategies, rain water collection and premium efficiency HVAC systems. The design allowed as much natural light as possible and included overhangs on the windows; which help helped to reduce load. We worked closely with the architect through our energy model and made recommendations relative to glazing that were later implemented. We also used the model to select the best HVAC system from a life cycle cost perspective. About 90 percent of waste materials were recycled during construction, collected and sorted in large bins.
Other unique green features included parking spaces for fuel efficient vehicles, concrete paving instead of asphalt, energy efficient lighting and low flow/dual flush plumbing fixtures, tiles made from recycled bottles, and abundant sources of natural light. The outdoor garden was also transformed into a school-wide project for students.
Image Source: Steven Marrone, Flashlight Photography