Rosa Parks Elementary School Serves as a Model for Energy Reduction
The expansion of Rosa Parks Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which recently added 12 classrooms, a nurse’s office, and a public clinic to the building, has achieved a 71.2 percent reduction over standard energy performance. The significant reduction in energy use has enabled the expansion to qualify as an Architecture 2030-compliant project, which calls for a 70 percent reduction in fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption over the regional or national standard.
Designed by Dewberry for Union Public Schools, the 16,240-square-foot addition showcases site orientation strategies and design features that optimize natural light throughout the interiors and minimize energy use. Clerestory windows bring light from the double-loaded corridors into the classrooms. Classrooms feature LED lighting and occupancy sensors to reduce the use of artificial light.
Mechanical/electrical engineering solutions include an efficient air-to-air heating and cooling system and a unique design for classroom air supply, with vents located in the lower four corners of each room to introduce a steady flow of conditioned air closer to the students.
Dewberry provided architecture; interior design; and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering. Wallace Engineering provided civil and structural engineering. Crossland Construction served as the general contractor. The new addition was completed on budget and a month early. Dewberry also designed the original 71,300-square-foot school, which opened in 2006.
“We are excited to be able to leverage our bond fund dollars for capital improvements and free up general fund dollars by reducing energy costs,” says Charlie Bushyhead, assistant superintendent for support services with Union Public Schools. “As a district we are always looking for ways to lower our utility costs, which in turn allows us to hire more teachers. With the help of Dewberry and our other consultants and partners, we were able to design a system that is very efficient and has a short return on investment time period.”