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Harmony Union School District is located at 1935 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465; 707.874.1205; visit their website here. See additional photos at SYMBIOS. Learn about SYMBIOS eco-tecture at and in The Greenroof Directory. Visit Neptune Coatings at:, and see their project profile here.

Located on a 56-acre campus just outside the small town of Occidental in western Sonoma County, Harmony Union School District consists of Harmony Elementary with grades Kindergarten-2nd and a K-8 Blendschool Program. Salmon Creek School–A Charter School serves grades 3-8.

The Salmon Creek School is LEED? Platinum certified for new construction by the USA Green Building Council, the first public school in California to receive this highest level of LEED? certification. The educational building, finished in 2010, is also a community and environmental education center that focuses itself on place-based learning and developing eco-literacy among its students and parents alike.

Symbios design worked closely with students, administrators, community and environmental groups to design and plan a living roof that would be educational as well as functional. The children that attend the school can eat cafeteria food that came from the organic garden; the walls are not only natural plaster but actually can clean the air; and natural light is carefully introduced to keep the kids perky and to help heat the building in the winter. In the summer the ?green? living roof keeps the school cool, in the winter keeps it warm and creates a habitat for wildlife all year long.

Completed on October 30, 2009, the ?living roof? contributed towards gaining points necessary for a LEED platinum certificate and helps reduce storm-water runoff, improve building performance, conserve energy and provide a food source for local habitat. Biodiversity was emphasized in the planting scheme, which included 12 species of drought-tolerant succulents, three of which are native to California.

In addition, Salmon Creek that runs through the school?s property is currently undergoing a multi-year restoration project to restore the Coho Salmon populations and therefore a net zero stormwater discharge rate was mandated. The living roof in combination with bioswales and on-site wetlands in the ground work to effectively control and divert all the stormwater to protect the near-by creek.

The landscape design of the living roof was modeled after the general topography of the region. The soil was mounted into small hills (mounds) and depressions to create an undulating roof surface that varies from 3.5 inches up to 10 inches. Large size volcanic rocks were also distributed through out the landscape in order to provide more favorable habitats for invertebrates living in the roof system.

Materials and lighting were all considered for their low environmental impact. Other sustainable features of the building include passive solar design, daylight harvesting, 30 kw PV solar system, eco-plasters and floor finishes, FSC lumber, reclaimed lumber and recycled content steel framing low-water use fixtures, LED and CF lighting throughout w/ IP sensors.


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