The University of Chicago now has a child care center to serve families of the University and the Medical Center. This great amenity is made even better because the Early Childcare Center West just earned its LEED Gold certification, which ensures that children (and adults) are spending their time in a healthy and sustainable space. Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects led the design team to create this playful and secure center, which is distinguished by its access to daylighting for every room.
The new Early Childcare Center West is located on a developing section of campus near the medical center. Ross Barney‘s design for the daycare center sought to create a playful environment for the children that also fits in with the rest of the University. The 12,710 sq ft, single story facility contains space for administration areas, a multipurpose room, and nine classrooms for infants, toddlers, young preschoolers and preschoolers. Outside is a secure play space, which is directly accessed from each classroom.
The facility recently earned LEED Gold certification and it features a high-performance envelope. Daylighting via full-height windows and Solartubes ensure that each room is filled with sunlight, which aids in the learning experience. The windows also feature a graphic film which helps cut down on glare and bird strikes. Lighting controls, occupancy sensors, and an energy-efficient HVAC system further reduce energy use. The roof is covered with a white reflective material to reduce solar gain, and a portion is dedicated to a living vegetation. Low VOC materials with high recycled content are featured inside, while the exterior is clad with white, yellow and gray James Hardi panels to create a vibrant and low maintenance facade.
Images © Kate Joyce 2013