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P.S. 62 The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground, also known as P.S. 62, is the first net-zero-energy school in New York City and one of the first worldwide. The cutting-edge building harvests as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses on an annual basis. Envisioned as a pilot project to explore sustainable design strategies for New York City public schools, P.S. 62 helps to achieve the city’s ambitious goals to reduce global warming emissions. SOM’s design offers an energy-use reduction of 50% over a standard New York City public school.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

“The school’s many sustainable design features include photovoltaic arrays wrapping both the roof and south facade, a geo-exchange heating and cooling system, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a solar thermal system for hot water. Horizontal deep-set clerestory and vision windows on the school’s south facades shade the glass from solar heat gain. On the east, west, and north facades, precast concrete rainscreen panels form a very tight enclosure to help minimize air infiltration.” – SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill

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© James Ewing – OTTO

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) dedicated the city’s first net zero energy school to the late Kathleen Grimm, former DOE Deputy Chancellor. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña joined students, families, staff, local officials, and design team members in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 22 to mark the occasion. The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and built by the Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation for the SCA, achieves its net zero energy target by harvesting as much energy from renewable on-site resources as it uses on an annual basis.

Located at the intersection of bloomingdale and Woodrow Roads, on the south shore of Staten Island, the 444-seat, 68,000-square-foot primary school is designed to comply with the SCA Green Schools Guide, a stringent rating system similar to the U.S. Green building Council’s LEED certification process and developed specifically for New York City public schools. As the SCA’s first “sustainability lab,” the Kathleen Grimm School will also help achieve the OneNYC goals for reduction in global warming emissions.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

“by pushing for higher environmental performance with our design, we have a remarkable opportunity to define a new standard for energy efficient school buildings in New York City and worldwide,” – said SOM Design Partner Roger Duffy.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

Situated on 3.5 acres, the school is oriented to the center of the “L” shaped site in order to optimize natural light for the interiors and the photovoltaic panels. The gym, cafeteria, library, and administrative offices are adjacent to the main entrance, while all learning spaces are on the north and south sides of the building along a double-height offset corridor.

The sizeable corridors promote visibility and facilitate easy circulation throughout the building, as well as bring ample sunlight to both floors of the building. Playgrounds on the north and south sides of the school provide room for outdoor activities.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

The Kathleen Grimm School achieves a remarkable 50% reduction in energy use over a typical new public school in New York City thanks to its aggressive approach to sustainability. The school’s many sustainable design features include photovoltaic panels on the building’s roofs and south facade, skylights and reflective ceiling panels that amplify natural light, a geo-exchange heating and cooling system, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a solar thermal system for hot water. The set back of the windows on the building’s south facades and the vertical relief on the building’s exterior reduce thermal heat gain, and also contribute to this impressive energy statistic. The south façade is sloped 70 degrees and equipped with photovoltaic panels, while the east, west, and north facades are clad with precast rain screens that span from the ground to the roof. SOM has also integrated systems for collecting data on the building’s energy consumption to help benchmark the building’s sustainability. Despite its significant year-round usage, the Kathleen Grimm School will achieve net zero energy consumption.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

Through efficiency studies of the photovoltaic panels, the design team optimized the configuration of Pv panels, consisting of various plane sizes situated at different slopes. The team designed the roof shape and central courtyard after studying sun angles. As the primary energy creator, the photovoltaic panels produce 662,500 kWh of energy to offset the energy consumption of the building and its users. The shape of the building’s roof has been optimized for energy production and also creates an iconic feature that represents a core mission of the project.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

The Kathleen Grimm School provides a learning environment in which the building is an active participant in the educational process. A key educational opportunity exists for students and faculty in managing energy consumption; occupant engagement in the energy saving process is vital to reaching the building’s net zero energy target. Interactive dashboards displayed throughout the building present real-time data on energy usage and production, allowing for immediate feedback on energy choices and healthy competition between classes and grade levels. Engaging design continues with signage both outside the Kathleen Grimm School and in its corridors, narrating the building’s numerous sustainability strategies and educating visitors and students about energy conservation. Specific sustainability nodes provide curated educational spaces with seating, as well as a touchscreen monitor connected to the building’s dashboard system for impromptu lessons.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

“The late Kathleen Grimm was a dedicated public leader and it is fitting this innovative new school, named in her honor, will lead New York City into achieving Mayor de blasio’s sustainability goals.” – NYC School Construction Authority President & CEO Lorraine Grillo said

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© James Ewing – OTTO

SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill:

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground, also known as P.S. 62, is the first net-zero-energy school in New York City and one of the first of its kind worldwide. The 68,000-square-foot, two-story school serves 444 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. The cutting-edge building harvests as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses on an annual basis.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

Designed to comply with the SCA Green Schools Guide in lieu of LEED®certification, the project is the NYC School Construction Authority’s first “sustainability lab.” This exploration into ultimate sustainability will provide substantial benefits to the City’s School Design Program and help achieve PlaNYC goals for significant reductions in global warming emissions. SOM’s design offers an energy-use reduction of 50% over a SCA standard public school.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

SOM optimized the orientation and massing of the courtyard-shaped building to take advantage of sunlight for both ample daylighting and photovoltaic arrays on the roof and south facade. Other sustainable and low-energy features incorporated in the design include an ultra-tight high-performance building envelope, daylit offset corridors, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, low-energy kitchen equipment, a greenhouse and vegetable garden, a geo-exchange system, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a solar thermal system for hot water.

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© James Ewing – OTTO

Project Data:

Project name: P.S. 62 The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability
Location: 644 Bloomingdale Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309, United States
Coordinates: 40.541418, -74.219167
Type: School
Project Area: 68,000 sq.ft / 6,120 sqm
Site Area: 3.5 acres
Status: Built
Completion Date/Year: 2015
Visit P.S. 62’s website: here

Awards:

  • 2016 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIANY COTE Awards – Honor Award
  • 2016 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories: Institutional > Primary & High Schools – Popular Choice Winner
  • 2016 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories: Institutional > Primary & High Schools – Jury Winner
  • 2016 – American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Awards – Category: Mechanical Systems Design – Award of Merit
  • 2016 – American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Awards – Category: Lighting Systems Design – Award of Excellence
  • 2016 – American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Awards – Category: Architectural Engineering Integration – Award of Excellence
  • 2016 – American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Awards – Category: Electrical Systems Design – Award of Excellence
  • 2016 – The Municipal Art Society of New York (MASterworks Awards) – Category: Best New Infrastructure
  • 2016  – American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York Award) – Category: Building/Technology Systems – Platinum Award

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: P.S. 62 The Kathleen Grimm School
Architects: SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill – 224 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604, United States
Design Partner: Roger Duffy
General Contractor: Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation
Project Team:

  • Managing Partner: Anthony Vacchione
  • Managing Director: Christopher McCready
  • Project Manager: Austin Harris
  • Senior Design Architect: Jon Cicconi
  • Senior Technical Coordinator: Carrie Moore

Engineers:

  • Structural Engineer: Desimone Consulting Engineers, PLLC
  • Civil & Tra c Engineer: Philip Habib & Associates
  • MEP Engineer: AKF Group
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services

Consultants:

  • Sustainability and Net Zero Consultant: In:Posse
  • R&D Collaborator: Center for Architecture Science & Ecology
  • Landscape Architect: Mark K. Morrison Landscape
  • Lighting Design: Brandston Partnership, Inc.
  • Graphics and Data Visualization: Pentagram, Shen Milsom & Wilke
  • Theater Design: Harvey Marshall Berling Associates
  • Code Consultant: Design 2147 Ltd.
  • Food Service: Hopkins Foodservice Specialists, Inc.

Text Description: © Courtesy of SOM
Images: © James Ewing – OTTO, SOM

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