Additionally the VRF system
provides the school with cooling, a
feature often absent in school designs
in the region for budget reasons.
Cooling has become more important
as the climate in Seattle has changed
to longer warmer summers overlapping with the school calendar. This
also allows for improved thermal
comfort for expanded school programs during the summer months.
Ventilation air was provided to
the classrooms, libraries, office
spaces, and gathering spaces using a
dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS)
approach with small energy recovery
ventilators (ERVs) in each zone that
typically operate at low speed. The
zonal ERVs react directly to space
indoor air quality conditions based
on CO2 sensors. Each zone can ramp
up fan speed without over-ventilating
the rest of the building and incurring
heating and fan energy use penalties.
The ERVs were carefully selected
to provide neutral air at design
conditions without supplementary
heating or cooling. If teachers want
to use operable windows instead of
the ERVs for ventilation, they can
manually switch off the ERV fans
and open the windows. The ERVs,
ceiling fans, and VRF equipment
ABOVE LED lights, new apertures and
the HVAC ducting support the function
of the auditorium without upstaging the
architecture of the structural vaulting.
RIGHT New mechanical systems, existing
structure and recycled enclosures
co-exist in the lobby.
The existing seventies era West Seattle
Hillcrest Church provided the base for the
The original building consisted of two large
volumes connected by an entry lobby.
The school needed 26 classrooms, a gym,
auditorium, library, lunch room, and offices.
To accommodate the new functions of the
building, the existing church was enlarged
The adaptive reuse maintained the
organization of the original structure, while
adding a modern third large volume for
the central lobby.
This project conserves embodied energy by
not building anew where existing structure
could be reused, diverting waste from construction and demolition.
A modern envelope with higher insulation
values was introduced at the old perimeter
to buffer the existing structure.