Sacred Heart Schools' new Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center in Atherton broke some records recently. It's the first school to obtain LEED Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools program and the first school in San Mateo County to use fruits and vegetables from an on-site organic garden for food service in the school cafeteria. It's also designed to use 69% less energy than a typical school and features some incredible green features.
The Michael J. Homer building is part of Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, which is a Roman Catholic school for students in preschool through twelfth grade. The new building has a living roof with native foliage on top that insulates and reduces stormwater runoff.
The same roof also holds 73 skylights to help bring natural light into the classrooms, as well as a 40k solar photovoltaic system. Water-efficient fixtures inside reduce water consumption by over 40%, and drought-tolerant native plantings reduce exterior water consumption even more.
Students and faculty, under the supervision of Dr. Stewart Slafter, will use the 10,000 square-foot organic garden in Environmental Science and Global Studies courses. One can only imagine the experiences these students will take away in such a fascinating and innovative green building.
Photo credits: Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton.