Teachers Incorporate School’s Sustainable Architecture/Engineering into Curriculum

A unique K-12 magnet school allows teachers to incorporate the building's many sustainable architectural/engineering features into their lesson plans

Tai Soo Kim Partners Architects and BVH Integrated Services designed Rogers International School, located in Stamford, CT, to foster an intentional educational focus on the environment. Creative environmental architectural and engineering components were built in for educators to incorporate into their curriculum, teaching students valuable lessons about saving energy and harnessing the natural environment for energy.

Among the many sustainable design features of this 106,000-square-foot building is a green roof, which covers 50 percent of the building and is designed for active use by students to learn about organic and sustainable gardening. Captured rainwater is the only source of water to irrigate the rain garden. A wind turbine located at the highest elevation demonstrates the concept of “free energy,” or wind harvesting; displays within the school provide real-time data about how much energy the wind turbine produces. The energy generated is used for powering lobby lights and exterior lighting at night.

Other green building features include water-conserving plumbing fixtures, ice storage for the HVAC system, and efficient fluorescent lighting with auto daylight dimming. The facility’s carefully planned acoustics and abundant daylight make it easier and more comfortable for students to learn. The school is also equipped with a demand-control ventilation system relying on CO2 sensors in high-density spaces, such as classrooms, the auditorium, the cafeteria, and the gymnasium.