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New York’s First Net Zero Energy School Building

A few days before the wrath of Sandy, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) broke ground on what will be the first net-zero energy school in New York City and the Northeast U.S. Located on a 3.5-acre site on Staten Island, at the intersection of Crabtree Avenue and Bloomingdale Road. It was completed in 2015

Courtesy of SOM – Photography: James Ewing/OTTO

Roger Duffy, FAIA, SOM Design Partner and head of the firm’s Education Lab called this project, “an extraordinary opportunity to help define the next generation of energy efficient school buildings for New York City and beyond.”

Courtesy of SOM – Photography: James Ewing/OTTO

Also, Bruce Barrett, Vice President of Architecture & Engineering at the SCA has described the SCA’s intentions for this project as follows: “Using this unique project as a vehicle, the SCA will explore new and higher levels of sustainability by embarking on the construction of a Net Zero Energy School Building. Recognizing Mayor Bloomberg’s and New York City’s commitment to sustainability in general, and to energy conservation specifically, we have challenged ourselves to go beyond building code and design standards to realize innovative energy and carbon reductions exceeding our current achievements. We want to push the envelope on this advanced green project, which will be our ‘sustainability lab.’ It is understood that not all of the lessons learned from this exercise will be applicable on a broad scale, however, this exploration into ultimate sustainability and the subsequent evaluation of our exercise will provide benefits to our School Design Program that would otherwise not be realized.”

Courtesy of SOM – Photography: James Ewing/OTTO

SOM is a leader in sustainable design and net zero energy innovation, creating sustainable solutions for a wide variety of clients, including schools. SOM has also exhibited its leadership in this area in its collaboration with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, called the Center for Architectural Science and Ecology (CASE), which is dedicated to applying the latest scientific research to today’s sustainable design challenges. At CASE, multi-disciplinary scientists, researchers, and design professionals work together to design, develop and implement next-generation systems within actual building projects as research test beds. SOM’s Education Lab has also built an outstanding portfolio of K-12 public and independent schools – including the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, Burr Street School in Fairfield, CT and others in New York City and throughout the Northeast.

Courtesy of SOM – Photography: James Ewing/OTTO

Project Info
Architects: SOM
Location: Staten Island, New York
Design Partner: Roger Duffy, FAIA
Education Lab Director: Chris McCready, AIA
Project Area: 68,068 ft2
Year: 2015
Type: Educational
Photography: James Ewing/OTTO – Aerial photograph is by Stark Video Inc/Aerial New York.

By Nami Parvin.

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