USA, San Diego
Education & Institutions
Achieving a LEED Gold certification, this $22.5-million school project consolidates programs such as English as a Second Language and disability support into a bright and airy two-story learning center of 37,700 sq. ft. (3500 m2). Project engineers have incorporated sustainable features such as natural ventilation and natural lighting to reduce the building’s energy use by 43% compared with state requirements..
The natural ventilation occurs via high-level automated façade windows in the classroom. In the back of each classroom, there are high-level automated vents, which can lead the air into the common areas (hallway) where the air is ventilated out through the high-level automated windows in the clerestory.
Each teacher controls the classroom temperature through a single switch on the wall that offers the choice between natural and mechanical cooling. When the temperature falls within the comfort zone (as it does the majority of the year), the natural ventilation system disengages the mechanical air conditioning and automatically opens the windows.
In the design discovery process, teachers told that they love to open the windows and doors. This building encourages that behavior, so it is expected that the teachers will choose natural ventilation most of the time.
WindowMaster was selected to supply the more than 100 motors for the natural ventilation solution for its MotorLink® technology. MotorLink® is a digital data communication technology designed to provide improved control and functionality where automated windows and natural ventilation are part of a building management system.
"The environment in San Diego lends itself to using as much natural ventilation as possible. We have found that natural ventilation improves workers’ mood, productivity, and just overall attitude towards work in general. To that end, we try to provide natural ventilation on every facility we design. The use of automatic operable windows has revolutionized our ability to provide natural ventilation for our clients. The automatic operable windows allow the building to ‘think’ for itself and allow them to open when the exterior environment is perfect for natural ventilation. We found in previous designs that manual operable windows were almost never used. Using the automatic operable windows ensures that the building and its occupants receive all the benefits from natural ventilation.”
Dan Grammier, PE, LEED AP | Principal | MA ENGINEERS
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