New Haven, CT 06511
As one of 47 projects in the New Haven School Construction Program, the 101,000-square-foot Sheridan Communications & Technology Academy achieved Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR for superior expected energy performance with a rating of 86 out of 100 in EPA’s Target Finder tool. New Haven Public Schools collaborated with Boroson Falconer to design this building with high performance goals, including energy efficiency and conservation measures and a healthy environment for the students, faculty, and staff.
Adhering to the New Haven High Performance Schools Design Requirements (HPSDR), Boroson Falconer was challenged from the beginning to design a building with reduced energy consumption that also makes economic sense and meets New Haven Standards for occupant comfort. Because the HPSDR were to be applied to many projects, it was determined early in the process that a constant protocol would be needed to gauge progress. EPA’s Target Finder tool lent the opportunity to set expected performance goals against buildings outside of the New Haven Program. Furthermore, Boroson Falconer wished to use a nationally recognized program that put energy efficiency at its forefront.
Sheridan Communications and Technology Academy adds to efforts to build sustainable K-12 schools in New Haven. In 1996, the city embarked on a 14-year program to rebuild 47 public schools. In response to growing utility costs, the city and the School Construction Program introduced the HPSDR in 2003. This comprehensive document requires every project design to focus on sustainability and energy efficiency.
During the construction of the building, students from around the district participate in the Kids Build Program, which brings sixth-grade students to the architect’s office and the job site to teach them about construction and the design of sustainable buildings. Lessons on materials selection, energy, and conservation encourage students to think of themselves as stewards to the building. Once the building is opened, the Kids Build participants will present what they learn and the environmental aspects of the school to their classmates.
Various design elements help make Sheridan Communications and Technology Academy a model for energy efficiency. Among many others, these elements include: high reflectance roofs and walls, fully controlled lighting with efficient fixtures, radiant ceiling heating panels on the building perimeter, and a variable volume air distribution system. After construction, the building owners also plan to take full advantage of utility rebate and other incentive programs available in the state.