Shadow Valley Elementary School is a 72,774 sq. ft. school located on the east bench of Ogden in the Ogden City School District. It was designed to be a model school, demonstrating how sustainable design could be achieved in an elementary school while at the same time, providing an excellent atmosphere for learning.
The school was completed in July of 2009, and is the first school to achieve certification by the USGBC under the LEED For Schools rating system. VanBoerum & Frank was selected as the mechanical engineering firm to team with MHTN Architects.
It was decided right from the beginning stages of design, that this school would go after and achieve LEED certification. In order to do this, the design team needed to work together to identify areas of focus, including HVAC system efficiency, water-saving fixtures, building envelope design, and acoustics. In consideration of the building envelope, VBFA used energy modeling software to model different scenarios, and provide recommendations to the architect on the building envelope design, building orientation, and shading devices. Insulation and glass types were closely studied to give the best possible quality within the scope of the budget.
VBFA elected to employ a mechanical system consisting of centralized variable air volume air handlers and VAV terminal reheat boxes as the backbone of the mechanical system. This is a very energy-efficient system, so it was a natural fit for this building. In order to achieve the higher levels of energy efficiency needed, VBFA utilized high-efficiency condensing boilers and a high-efficiency variable-speed air-cooled chiller to help boost the overall efficiency.
Acoustics throughout the school, especially in the core learning areas are a major focus in the LEED for Schools rating system, and this building was able to meet those rigid requirements. Mechanically, VBFA designed a mechanical system with very specific acoustic requirements. Many elements were combined and utilized to provide a system that exceeded the LEED acoustic requirement level. Water efficiency is another key component to sustainable design, and VBFA designed and specified low-flow, efficient water fixtures, including urinals and faucets, providing a 38% water savings over standard fixtures. To enhance the domestic hot water system efficiency, a 96% efficient water heater was used, with a solar hot water system designed to handle a majority of the domestic hot water load, and the gas-fired water heater acting only to supplement the solar heater. By designing a highly-efficient and acoustically-pleasing mechanical system, VBFA has provided a model system for future schools to look to and pattern future designs after.