Fayette County Schools To Save Green By Going Green

GBBN Architects is currently involved in the design of the new elementary school located on Keithshire Way in Lexington, Kentucky's Fayette County. By emphasizing sustainability throughout all phases of the design process, energy consumption will be reduced resulting in good (economic) sense.

"We're thrilled to be involved in this 'green-conscious' project," said Joe Turley, AIA, LEED AP, principal and project manager on the 70,855 square-foot, new construction project that will accommodate 500 students. "Every aspect of the design process is green tested," said Turley. "By shaping the building in a way that makes the most of the sun's light, all classrooms and most other spaces in the building will be daylit, reducing energy consumption and improving the quality of the learning environment."

The school will meet Energy Star requirements and will include energy efficient HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. "The layout of the school has been designed for maximum flexibility," said Turley. "This design aspect will allow for easier changes to the academic program over time versus those in a traditional school."

The facility will become a teaching tool in itself. "In a conventional schooll, systems traditionally hidden out of sight will now be visible and easily explainable to students," said Jessica Hosfield, project architect. Some examples of these features includes photovoltaic solar panels, a rainwater capture and reuse system, a solar hot water system, natural water quality devices (permeable pavers and rain gardens), and automatic electric lighting controls. Hosfield added, "There will also be an outdoor classroom for use by all teachers."

"Teaching won't be limited to inside the classroom," said Turley. "Students, adults and visitors will unknowingly encounter a learning experience just by walking through the halls of Keithshire Way." The project is expected to be completed in August 2011.