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Montgomery Middle School
(# 388)
Images Description Credits
Completion 8 / 2012
Square Footage 45,000 SF
Budget $19.6 M
Specific Use of Building Education
Project Location San Diego, CA
Design Challenges

Part of the district’s mission to build sustainably, the MMS academic building is seeking LEED Platinum certification and has improved learning environments for their most disadvantaged students.

Design Solution

The challenge for this project was to maximize the roof plane for solar, while adhering to the district’s mandate for a single package unit per classroom.  Designed in collaboration with the maintenance + operations group, this innovative solution is a new strategy for school construction, enabling more districts to pursue environmentally conscious buildings. High efficiency HVAC units are located within a two story mechanical distribution hub in the center of each wing.  This unique configuration allowed for a sloped roof supporting 219KW of Photovoltaics (PV) providing on-site renewable solar-based electricity for 80% of the campus.  Exceeding California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title-24 2008) by 35%, the project achieved all available energy points under LEED for Schools 2009, and is 90% below the relevant 2030 Commitment level.

The roof form wraps the south façade to minimize heat gain and opens to the north, maximizing daylight and views for all classrooms.  This orientation also directs storm water to the southern bio-swale, where the water can be filtered and cleansed before it is absorbed into the ground. The classroom design provides operable windows on opposing walls for natural ventilation, and incorporates displacement ventilation to provide a quieter and healthier environment for learning.  The single roof plane unifies the three separate wings about a central student courtyard.  This space links the student’s lunch area to the east and the communities palm court that anchors the west end providing shade and seating for visitors seeking support from the counseling center.  

Sustainable Features
•    USGBC LEED Platinum pending
•    Exceeds California Title-24 2008 standards by approximately 35%
•    A 219-KW rooftop photovoltaic system is predicted to meet 80% of the estimated site energy use for the campus.
•    The project exceeds its relevant 2030 Challenge benchmark by 90%, well ahead of the current 2030 Commitment levels.
•    Displacement ventilation creates a superior acoustic environment while saving energy
•    Operable windows are on the north and south facades so that classrooms can be cooled on moderate temperature days
•    Single loaded building configuration allows for natural ventilation, maximum natural day lighting and exterior circulation
•    The gallery is open to the sky allowing the sustainable plants to get sunlight and allowing for air circulation
•    CMU block is both structure and enclosure, providing excellent thermal mass and durability
•    Storm water percolates into the playfi¬elds for groundwater regeneration and cleansing without burdening the existing public storm drain system
•    An agricultural garden and fruit trees, funded by grants and tended by students, is on the south side and reduces solar heat gain, reflections and glare for occupants

SBD report:

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