Sunburst Elementary School

Layton, UT


VCBO Architecture
Davis School District



Services Provided

Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Geothermal, Energy Engineering

The Sunburst Elementary School, a project focused on innovative design, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability, provides a state-of-the-art educational facility for the community’s young minds. The school’s mechanical systems have been designed by VBFA with net zero energy principles and includes a geothermal system for heating and cooling, positioning itself as a leader in sustainable construction and education.

Project Highlights:

Net Zero Energy Design:
Sunburst Elementary School was designed and built to achieve net zero energy status, meaning it generates as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. The school accomplishes this through a combination of energy-efficient design, renewable energy technologies, and smart energy management systems. These features reduce the building’s energy demand and offset its consumption with on-site renewable energy production.

Solar Power Generation:
A significant portion of the school’s energy comes from its rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system. This array provides clean, renewable electricity to the facility, helping to offset the energy consumed by the building’s operations. The solar panels are also incorporated into the school’s curriculum, offering students hands-on learning opportunities and an understanding of renewable energy technologies.

Geothermal System:
Sunburst Elementary School utilizes a geothermal system for heating and cooling, significantly reducing the building’s reliance on traditional HVAC systems. The geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the ground during the winter months and deposits excess heat into the ground during the summer months, providing efficient and eco-friendly temperature regulation for the school.

Energy-Efficient Building Envelope:
The school’s building envelope features high-performance insulation, triple-glazed windows, and advanced sealing techniques, which reduce heat transfer and minimize air infiltration. These design elements contribute to lower energy consumption and increased thermal comfort for the occupants.

Energy Management System:
An advanced energy management system continuously monitors and controls the school’s energy usage, adjusting lighting, heating, and cooling systems to optimize energy efficiency. This system also provides valuable data for the school staff and students to analyze, fostering a culture of energy awareness and conservation.

Educational Opportunities:
Sunburst Elementary School’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency is integrated into the curriculum, providing students with hands-on learning experiences and a deep understanding of environmental stewardship. The school’s design and systems serve as a living laboratory, where students can learn about renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable building practices.

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