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Green Building Design
M Space Holdings LLC
Walden Structures, Inc.
Gross Size of Project:
- Thermal Comfort Strategy
The P. IQ classroom has a thermal displacement ventilation (TDV) system. The TDV regulates both the heating and cooling of the building. Cool air flows out of a diffuser at floor level; as it starts to rise it picks up heat from the occupants and exits the room through the exhaust vent located in the ceiling. This system produces improved indoor air quality, eliminates the transfer of pollutants from one occupant to another, is almost ten decibels quieter than other units, uses 40 percent less energy then a standard mixed ventilation approach and creates a constant and comfortable air temperature. In addition to the TDV system, the building contains one self-regulating thermostat and is energy management system (EMS) ready. This technology allows the temperature of the classroom, to be regulated by a central location, such as the school districts main office, allowing the district to manage and regulate appropriate temperatures and on/off times to save energy.
- Indoor Air Quality Strategy
The thermal displacement ventilation system is designed to improve air quality and create a healthy and comfortable atmosphere. As the air rises and leaves the building, it takes along with it contaminates moving towards the ceiling and away from the occupants, which results in air at the breathing zone that is 20% fresher than the air being exhausted. In addition, there are lower concentrations of carbon dioxide levels in rooms with TDV than those in rooms using conventional systems. Densglass sheathing was placed on the exterior of the building, under the siding panels. This sheathing has a moisture-resistant core and enhanced fiberglass mats. This product resists the growth of mold, contributing further to the healthy air quality within the building.
- Daylighting Strategy
The structure of the classroom was designed for optimal daylighting. The building has a vaulted open ceiling with clerestory windows. It also has sunshades and exterior light shelves as well as operable casement windows. The interior light fixtures have auto dimming ballasts that increase or decrease the brightness of the artificial light in correspondence to the amount of natural light available in the room throughout the day. The daylighting system leads to both energy and cost savings. This is because the interior lights only run when necessary using less energy and reducing electricity costs. HVAC costs are reduced because natural light produces less heat than artificial light. The daylighting system also creates a more comfortable environment for the occupants as flicker, glare and noise of fluorescent lights often causes eye strain, irritation, headache, fatigue and/or stress.
- Acoustic Strategy
The sound quality inside the P. IQ is superior. The TDV system is quieter than a typical HVAC unit. The low ventilation rate causes the fan motor to produce less noise than conventional cooling systems. The TDV system can be up to 10 decibels quieter than a conventional cooling system. Also, the majority of the ceiling is made up of acoustic ceiling tiles. The tiles help to keep the classroom quiet by reducing the reverberation of noise generated both inside and out of the building.
- Energy Efficiency Strategy
The P. IQ has a full steel moment frame structure, a concrete floor, 6” steel studs, and 5/8” drywall underlayment making it a strong and durable structure. Materials were selected from recycled or recyclable products as much as possible. Recycled/recyclable products include, steel components (i.e. steel frame, studs, door, window frames) acoustic ceiling tiles, carpet, tile and fiber cement siding panels.
- Architectural Excellence
The appearance of the P. IQ is unique. It has a raised roof that reaches 21 feet at its highest point. This feature is not typically found in the design of other freestanding classrooms. The raised roof allows for the installation of the clerestory windows and light shelves. The classroom is also designed to be teacher friendly. There is a full teaching wall across the front of the classroom with built in cabinets and sliding whiteboards with storage behind them. In addition, the walls are covered with self-healing felt board to allow teachers and students to easily hang items throughout the classroom.
- Economic Practicality
This particular building is designed to compete with permanent classrooms as opposed to temporary. This classroom costs less per square foot than the same classroom built with traditional construction. In addition to costing less, it can also be completed up to 40 percent faster. Although this classroom might seem like more of an investment on the front end, all of the energy savings and the improved atmospheric conditions make it well worth it. This classroom exceeds Title 24, California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, by 26 percent in interior lighting and exceeds the total energy efficiencies in Title 24 by 40 percent.
The building has a web based Crestron control keypad. This keypad controls the lights, thermostat, audiovisual equipment and any other technology that may be present in the classroom.