Schools are high occupancy buildings with multiple learning spaces. Learning is enhanced by spaces with good daylighting, ventilation and comfort. The Paramount Farms Childcare Center is designed to be a high performance, low energy, green school designed for improved learning and a safe environment. The 11,300-square-foot learning and development center is built on 5.3 acres of land and can accommodate up to 80 children.
Paramount Farms was looking to build an affordable childcare facility for the children of its employees. One of the driving factors in the design of the building was sustainability and “green” building design. While the project primarily focusing on children’s educational needs, it was required to be environmentally friendly by being contextual and climate responsive.
Because of its location, the semi-arid climate of Lost Hills, CA, the design required maximizing the use of natural resources and using low energy HVAC systems enhanced by high efficiency building envelope incorporating day lighting with lighting control.
The building was designed to use natural ventilation. However, at certain times of the year the area surrounding the childcare center can be exposed to a deadly airborne fungal condition known as Valley Fever, particularly to children and the elderly if exposed to the outside air for a period of time. To address this concern, P2S designed highly efficient and intelligent filtration system that would minimize use of outside air when exposure to Valley Fever is possible.
In addition, to maximize comfort during in both cold and hot seasons, P2S designed radiant floor heating and chilled beams. And in order to minimize cooling and heating consumption and costs, P2S utilized high factor insulation in the roof and walls of the facility. P2S leveraged daylighting harvesting strategies by integrating a complete 30 kW Photovoltaic design into the project. This system generates about 20% of the buildings total energy consumption.
Further electrical savings were provided by the use of energy efficient LED lighting in T5 fixtures as well as controlling all exterior luminaries via photocell and astronomical time clock.
To address water consumption goals, P2S provided for low flow and waterless fixtures throughout the facility. This resulted in a 30% reduction of overall water consumption.
The project is LEED certified using CHPS (Collaborative for High Performing Schools) guidelines.
The innovations P2S incorporated in the Paramount Farms Avenal Childcare Center provides the owner with annual savings of 50,000 kWh per year, 35kW peak demand, and 182,000,000 BTUs. It is a high-performance, low energy, green school with great ventilation, lighting, and thermal comfort. The client was so satisfied with the design, engineering and building results of the design, they retained us to perform a building energy study on their corporate headquarters in West Los Angeles.