|The Natomas Unified K-12 School District is a regional and statewide leader in efforts to improve air quality, build air-quality friendly schools and promote better health for students, staff and community. In the summer of 2008, construction was completed on the new learning center that is the first project in California to receive Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) funding and the first public school in Northern California with a greenroof. The H. Allen Hight Learning Center provides classrooms for 2,000 students on the 21-acre site in North Natomas. The learning center features both an elementary school and a middle school, and is a model construction project showcasing environmentally sound practices.|
"Because of H. Allen Hight Learning Center?s high performance, sustainable design features, the Natomas Unified School District received $400,000 in Prop 1D funding and qualified for an $89,000 incentive from the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) ?Savings By Design Program?. Prop 1D is the State of California?s initiative for the design of sustainable, high performance schools and funds are awarded by the Division of the State Architect (using the same criteria as CHPS) for high performance school design. SMUD?s ?Savings by Design? program awards financial incentives for energy saving building designs," (RDS Architects).
|The greenroof covers one of three buildings on the H. Allen Hight campus ? a central library and administration building that sits between an elementary and a middle school. Students working from the third-floor chemistry labs in the middle school building will have a view of the living roof. Low maintenance low-growing ground covers include sedum, nonflowering strawberry, creeping thyme and blue fescue.|
In addition to the vegetated roof, the project included an Energy Star? roof and recycled materials and was also an energy efficient design, exceeding State energy standards by 30%. "The green roof is one of several features that earned H. Allen Hight recognition from the Collaborative for High Performing Schools, which promotes ecological school construction. The school's cabinetry is made from recycled wood; tackable wall panels are made from recycled paper; paint, flooring and ceiling materials do not emit toxins common in most building supplies, leading to improved air quality," (Sacramento BEE, 2008). Although the roof is about twice as expensive as a conventional roof, the district expects a return on their investment in just 12 years.
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|The H. Allen Hight Learning Center is located at 3200 N. Park Dr., Sacramento, CA 95835; visit their website here. Visit the Natomas Unifed School District website here. Read the Sacramento Bee Newspaper's "New Natomas school roof is green - and growing" by Laurel Rosenhall of May 6, 2008 here (PDF from the architect). Visit RDS Architects: http://rdsarchitects.com/.|
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