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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools in California by WRNS Studio

 
May 24th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: WRNS Studio

The 6,300-sf Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools in is the first library in the USA and the first school building in California to achieve the International Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Energy Building Certification. It was part of the PG&E ZNE Pilot Project which also found it consumed less energy than it generated and is on track for LEED® Platinum and Petal Certifications.

The site is designed to maximize passive solar orientation, daylight and natural ventilation. 1. Solar harvesting through solar panels - the photovoltaic system provides all the library’s needed energy; 2. High-performance glazing and added rigid insulation for reduced energy loads; 3. Native, drought-tolerant plants are watered using harvested rainwater, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

The site is designed to maximize passive solar orientation, daylight and natural ventilation. 1. Solar harvesting through solar panels – the photovoltaic system provides all the library’s needed energy; 2. High-performance glazing and added rigid insulation for reduced energy loads; 3. Native, drought-tolerant plants are watered using harvested rainwater, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

  • Architects: WRNS Studio
  • Project: The Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools
  • Location: Atherton, California, USA

Environmental graphics illustrate the water story and potable water availability, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

Environmental graphics illustrate the water story and potable water availability, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

Sacred Heart Schools challenged us to create a space that would reflect their values of social awareness, sustainability and community,” said WRNS Studio Partner, Director of Sustainability and Project Manager Pauline Souza. “In support of that mission, we designed the library with a dual purpose – to make resource conservation part of the everyday experience while inspiring and educating the community about the importance of environmental stewardship and beauty.”

The site’s felled trees were milled for the reception desk; all materials in the library are low VOC, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

The site’s felled trees were milled for the reception desk; all materials in the library are low VOC, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

As the academic hub and social heart of the campus, the library is designed as a hands-on learning facility, putting the school’s values of social awareness, sustainability and community at the forefront.

Emphasis on indoor air quality: 1. Daylight as light source; 2. Operable windows let fresh air in; 3. Fans circulate air; 4. High-performing lights with daylight and occupancy sensors, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

Emphasis on indoor air quality: 1. Daylight as light source; 2. Operable windows let fresh air in; 3. Fans circulate air; 4. High-performing lights with daylight and occupancy sensors, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

The building itself is a teaching tool. Both the usage and energy harvested through photovoltaic panels and rainwater collected from the roof — the only water source for the nearby eco-orchard — are communicated to students through an interactive dynamic screen. Found stone and reclaimed wood used in the main area allow educators to discuss minimized carbon footprints. Environmental graphics make the water story and potable water availability visible, while rainwater management and greywater waste treatment systems are easily accessible for educational efforts.

Emphasis on indoor air quality: 1. Daylight as light source; 2. Operable windows let fresh air in; 3. Fans circulate air; 4. High-performing lights with daylight and occupancy sensors, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

Emphasis on indoor air quality: 1. Daylight as light source; 2. Operable windows let fresh air in; 3. Fans circulate air; 4. High-performing lights with daylight and occupancy sensors, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

The library is also a model of sustainability — the PV-system provides all power, lighting occupancy sensors minimize electricity usage, a high-efficiency mechanical system ensures occupant comfort, solar tubes maximize daylight, and the high-performing envelope and shading system keep energy demand low.

By exposing its sustainable strategies, the library is able to teach the entire community about conservation, resiliency and health.

Adaptable floor plan with modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured into different learning areas, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

Adaptable floor plan with modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured into different learning areas, Image Courtesy © WRNS Studio

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Categories: Library, School

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