Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy is a 200,000 sq. ft. facility with a gymnasium, pool, dining and kitchen, classrooms, library, art and music rooms and administrative offices. Sustainable features include a green roof, community garden, rain garden and permeable pavers for the parking surface. The services provided by dbHMS include all the electrical and IT, e-rate scope of work, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection loads, concept and construction documentation, as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED©) consulting.
To find the optimum classroom glass type and area, dbHMS performed a study using different window areas and glass types factoring power saved through daylighting against added cooling and heating loads. The results found the “sweet spot” for the best views and learning environment with the lowest energy costs.
dbHMS provided energy modeling on several schemes which combined with a simple life cycle cost analysis, showed the Chicago Public School district that a geothermal heat pump system was not only more green, but supplemented with government tax credits, was more cost-effective than the VAV system they typically use. The district blessed the idea and asked dbHMS to prepare the grant applications. This is the first geothermal system that has been incorporated into the Chicago Public Schools.