The project consists of a 6,887 sq. ft. Science and Music Building. This is an additional building added to the site of the existing Hood River Middle School. One of the notable achievements of this new building is its ability to blend in with the original building which is listed on the “National Historic Register”. Its elegant mixture of brick veneer, sloping roofs and precast accents fit right in on the campus. Not only does this building blend seamlessly with the old historic structure from 1927 but it is arguably one of the most progressive and energy efficient school buildings in the country.
The project is an Energy Trust Path to Net-Zero project and is seeking LEED Platinum certification. The building utilizes energy form the sun to provide day light harvesting, a photovoltaic array, and passive solar systems to capture power and preheat the air used in the buildings HVAC system. The project collects rain water and water from a nearby stream for all non potable water uses in the building and for irrigation. The building envelope is constructed of ICF walls triple pane windows. Lumber salvaged from an bus barn building on site was used in the construction of all of the timber roof trusses and make stunning architectural features. Wood salvaged from trees removed on site to provide solar access was used to create wood planters for the outside garden. Attached to the science room is a greenhouse that houses an organic compost operation that produces fertilizer for the outdoor gardens the students maintain.
The building itself is a learning tool. Students have access to a building dashboard that follows the buildings energy generation and use. It also follows its geothermal and water usage and gives the science students a thorough understanding of what demands our buildings have on our environment. Even more important this building shows the students how it is possible to create buildings that are great stewards of our environment as well.