Today’s Solutions: May 20, 2022

What better way to teach future generations about the importance of sustainability than by integrating it within the very own institutions responsible for their education? That’s exactly what a team of architects aimed to achieve by putting sustainability front and center when designing a school and community complex in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex is the first in the state to gain both Net Zero Emissions and LEED v4 Platinum designations, and it uses 43 percent less energy than the average local school and 70 percent less than the average US school. It also recently won a coveted honor in the sustainable design category from the 2020 Boston Society for Architecture Design Awards. 

Featuring multiple green and open spaces as well as five playgrounds, the complex spans 270,000 square feet and accommodates K-8 students. Led by architecture firms William Rawn Associates and Arrowstreet, the project makes use of a number of sustainability tools, including geothermal wells, solar panels, green spaces, and sustainable timber to reduce its environmental footprint.

The project relies 100 percent on electricity that’s supplied by 3,600 PV solar panels covering the rooftop. In addition to the solar panels, the exterior features sunshades, bioswale bridges, and a hand-pumped rain garden. Inside, visitors can find an exposed water reuse system and smart daylight controls, and heating and cooling elements.

“In addition to the design team’s masterful design, the City of Cambridge deserves recognition for its investment in an ambitious project that sets the bar for future schools and libraries,” said the award jury for the Sustainable Design Awards.

We recently wrote about the Green School, which uses outdoor education to teach students about sustainable living. This is yet another model for what environmentally-conscious educational institutes can look like and how they can model sustainability in their design while teaching about sustainability in their curriculums.

Image source: City of Cambridge

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Architects redesign their industry labor model

The architecture profession is often glamorized as a creative and lucrative job where individual designers get their names tied to monumental construction projects. The truth is that an individual’s effort, even their whole team’s collaborative ... Read More

Meet the animals that refused to go extinct

May 20th marks the 17th annual Endangered Species Day. Every year, thousands of people around the world join together in taking action to protect and celebrate endangered or threatened species. In solidarity with the lives ... Read More

US trucking shortages might be at an end

Right now, economists, workers, and consumers alike are all holding their breath with the looming potential of a recession. It’s a lot to mentally wrangle with while we all look at various economic indicators and ... Read More

“Dramatic” success in clinical trials of novel asthma treatment

According to the AAFA, around 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, about one in every 13 people. This long-term disease causes swelling and inflammation of the airways, resulting in restriction and discomfort when ... Read More

UK-based walking group makes strides in men’s mental health

Of course, it’s never advisable to generalize, in this case, however, the evidence demonstrates that men are notoriously difficult to serve when it comes to mental health support.  With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, ... Read More

4 fascinating facts about bees to celebrate Bee Day

May 20th is Bee Day! So, to celebrate our fabulous pollinating friends, here are four facts that go beyond their all-important role in plant cross-fertilization. Females are the future Female bees have different jobs depending ... Read More