The Planners Colonel Smith Middle School in Tempe, Arizona designed by Emc2 Group Architects, has been recently unveiled, which is touted to be the first net-zero energy school in Arizona.
Sprawling over 27-acres site, the new Colonel Smith Middle School is located on the Army's intelligence training facility at 155 Carter Avenue in Fort Huachuca. The facility is the 12th Net Zero Energy building in the US. The design architect for the scheme was Fanning Howey with Turner Construction Company serving as the general contractor.
The school features sustainable design and unique approach, which enabled it to become zero energy consuming building. The facility has been designed in a way that it reaps maximum benefits of natural light. The school has been designed with north south orientation and features several large windows, clerestories and skylights, which bring in the sunlight into the inner spaces. These translate into an energy saving of 80%.
The school features solar array installation and wind turbines, which generate green power to fuel energy requirements. The annual energy production of the school exceeds its requirement. Other sustainable elements include rainwater harvesting and storage system and solar water heating system.
With an area of 88,693 square feet, the institution will have flexible common and collaboration spaces, and facilitate both indoors and outdoors learning for approximately 350 students in grades sixth, seventh and eighth. The entire school, as well as the site, is covered under cloud computing environment.
The focus of Colonel Smith Middle School will be on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The school’s facilities will support a project-based learning model. To offer this, the design of the school drifted from the traditional architecture of the schools.