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Interior of Sacred Heart School auditorium.

Sacred Heart Schools Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center

Sacred Heart Schools Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center | Atherton, CA

Sacred Heart achieved LEED for Schools Platinum on this new two-story, 45,000-sq.-ft. student services and science department building. The campus is situated on a private high school campus and includes a 700-seat assembly area, 300-seat cafeteria, kitchen and science classrooms. The team approached the design of the building with sustainability and education in mind.

Project Scope

The new Sacred Heart School Science and Student Life Building incorporates a host of innovative new technologies into the design, providing this private high school campus with a tremendous learning environment. The physical structure provided a pallet for green technologies to shine so LEED Platinum certification could be achieved. Green features include natural ventilation, daylighting, a green roof, solar panels, and a virtual dashboard to demonstrate energy and water consumption in real time.

The beautiful green roof above the Great Hall presents many species native to Northern California and vegetation grows just outside the second floor classroom windows. The water collected from the roof-top garden filters down with collected drain water from the other roofs, feeding down into the bio-swale.

The interior of the building is lit for the majority of the day with skylights, and each classroom can control the amount of daylight in each room. Energy is also conserved through a heat recovery system by which heat from many of the HVAC components is used to heat the domestic hot water.

The pinnacle element is an interactive educational system provided by Lucid Design Group, called the Lucid dashboard. In the lobby, visitors can access a touch screen monitor that displays graphics representing live streamed data for the energy usage throughout the building. This data is also made accessible to all the class rooms via the internet so that teachers can use this live data for classroom activities.