© WRNS Studio

Sacred Heart Schools Stevens Net Zero Library // WRNS Studio

Atherton, CA, United States

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

Text description provided by the architects.

The new library is the academic and social heart of Sacred Heart Schools’ new K-8 campus, located in Atherton, California. The 6,300 square foot building serves as a model for its community and reflects the school’s values of social awareness, sustainability, and intellectual curiosity. In an effort to bring the school’s sustainable story to the forefront, its water and energy management systems are placed on display as learning tools.

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

The library includes seven workspaces, two meeting rooms, two technology workspaces, a conference room, an office, a workroom, and the main open-space library room. All of these spaces convert to single or multiple occupant uses, allowing for growth or change. The main space accommodates stacks, K-3 story time, online research, student clubs, group learning, teacher training, events, community workshops, and informal gathering.

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

The auxiliary spaces accommodate testing, one-on-one tutoring, meetings, small and medium-sized classes, laptop lending, and IT support. Water is celebrated throughout the campus, nowhere more so than at the library. The roof captures rainwater to irrigate an eco-orchard. A folding glass door on the library exterior displays water management controls and the rainwater tank, ready to be observed by young scientists or enjoyed casually during a lunch break.

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

Accompanying graphics illustrate the rainwater collection system and additional campus conservation measures.
Material conservation is made evident in the library’s main reception desk. Site trees were milled for it, with the counter topped by surplus stone found from various locations. This reuse of the site material provides a story, memory, and educational opportunity for the students and community.

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

High performance glazing and added rigid insulation help reduce energy loads. Solar tubes and daylight monitoring of high performance lighting systems reduce energy demand. Windows provide natural ventilation and good daylighting while high efficiency systems, such as displacement ventilation, provide conditioning. A 42.5 kw photovoltaic system provides all energy needed for the library.

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

The first year resulted in a 26,686.6 kWh demand and was met with a 53,188 kWh production. While forecasted with an EUI of 27, the first year measured result is 14.5 kBTU/sf/yr. These results are on display along with the water use of the library and eco-orchard.
The project was designed and constructed at 20% below industry standard prices, proving that sustainable design can be done at any price..

© WRNS Studio

© WRNS Studio

Sacred Heart Schools Stevens Net Zero Library Gallery

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