By Eric Carbonnier

The Costa Mesa Middle School Enclave achieved LEED Silver certification from the USGBC. The Middle School Enclave is a 27,000-SF new classroom building composed of middle school administration, science labs, technology lab and classrooms in Costa Mesa, California. The sustainability vision focused on discovery/learning environments showcased by sustainable technologies. The design encourages multiple sustainable building practices and creates spaces that are conducive to optimized learning environments for both students and teachers.

Daylighting classrooms took into consideration coastal conditions, orientation and energy performance. South facing window-to-floor ratio was maximized to enhance daylighting and views, and solar heat gain in the winter months. For summer months, perforated aluminum sunscreens were integrated into the façade design to counteract solar heat gain. The sunscreen also doubles as a renewable energy source and integrated amorphous photovoltaic panels on their upturned surfaces, orienting them at the optimum angle to harvest solar energy resulting in a 2% electrical offset.

The exterior loaded classroom balcony canopy uses a translucent polycarbonate material that enables for more light to reach north facing glazing and indirectly daylights classrooms. The combined impact of daylight harvesting and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) resulted in a near 30% energy reduction.

Other notable savings focused on water conservation measures that resulted in a 43% reduction of potable water use. The Middle School Enclave was also the recipient of a Citation Award from AIA Orange County.