HEALTHY BUILDING DESIGN
At Ai3, we challenge ourselves to design buildings that are sustainable and efficient before any system components are added. As a result, our projects are 40% more energy efficient than the baseline building standard before the sustainability of system components are factored into the overall efficiency.
We begin with the optimal orientation of the building to reduce the demand for heating, cooling, and lighting. We understand that thoughtful organization of the interior spaces will result in a compact footprint with more usable space. We analyze where building volumes can be reduced to optimize the work of the building systems. We investigate how the exterior massing and materials can support the building’s efficiency and longevity goals. We design interiors with natural elements, views, and daylighting. We include informative graphics that promote healthy occupant behavior and report on the school’s performance.
As numerous studies have also shown, in addition to improving happiness, healthy school experiences contribute to improving health, productivity, and quality of life for both students and teachers. We use sustainability and healthy school design concepts to inform our design decisions because we know that healthier schools yield happier people!
Watertown High School, Watertown, MA
Hosmer Elementary School, Watertown, MA
A HISTORY OF SUCCESS
Designing and building sustainably has been central to our approach since the completion of the Bennett-Hemenway Elementary School in 1999, which integrated numerous sustainable strategies, and the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, which was considered the first green school in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) in 2005. Ai3 continues to be a leader in sustainable architecture and healthy school design, having designed the first two Net Zero Energy (NZE) elementary schools in Massachusetts: Cunniff Elementary School and Hosmer Elementary School in Watertown. We are excited to be designing the new Watertown High School – the first Net Zero Energy and LEED Platinum v4.0 comprehensive high school in the country.
Cunniff Elementary School, Watertown, MA
Creating big impact for occupants, the community, and the natural environment means making cost-effective decisions and equipping building users with the knowledge necessary to streamline operations and maintenance. Strategies are carefully researched for each project and owners are presented with first costs, life cycle costs, payback costs, and maintenance costs.