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Sustainable Features of McKinney ISD Elementary School
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Students planning to attend McKinney Independent School District's newest 70,000 square foot elementary school when it opens in the fall of 2000 are in for a special treat. In addition to standard elementary school curriculum, students will have the unique opportunity to study wind and solar energy, feed their frogs and take care of the school's water habitat, learn in classrooms illuminated by the sun rather than electric light, water their bean plants (which they keep in the school's greenhouse) with harvested rainwater, and check the weather at the campus weather station. This project was named by the American Institute of Architects to the Earth Day Top 10 List for Environmentally Responsible Design Projects in the nation Sustainable design is environmentally sensitive architecture and engineering - the ability to meet today's needs without compromising the resources available to future generations. Environmental conservation is only one of the reasons to consider sustainable design. Studies are showing that the various environmental benefits of sustainable design also benefit our children in the classroom. Another major element of sustainable design is called "Eco Education", a concept that incorporates the sustainable school into the curriculum so that students can understand its design and how it impacts the environment. It's a tremendous teaching tool for students to learn about environmental conservation. Harvesting rainwater is a perfect example. By collecting rainwater from the roof of the building and channeling it to one of six on-campus storage tanks, . enough water can be collected to flush toilets and water the grounds. Other elements of sustainable design include site planning and landscape management; the use of recycled building materials; solar systems; wind energy; geothermal energy (using the Earth's natural energy to heat and cool the building), energy recovery, and high energy efficiency. The primary goal of sustainable design is to protect a site's existing environment. As much as possible, we need to understand and maximize the natural conditions of a new project's site and incorporate its features into the overall design. That's what sustainability is all about. The purpose of this paper is to present the specific sustainable features of the McKinney ISD Elementary School and the process of integrating sustainability criteria in all phases of the school's life cycle
McClure, J. D.; Estes, J. M.; Keep, G. (2000). Sustainable Features of McKinney ISD Elementary School. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from