A magnet school, High Tech High Chula Vista provides its students with a hands-on learning experience in an incredibly sustainable atmosphere. The new campus was recently awarded the one of the AIA’s Committee on Environment Top 10 Awards. Designed by Studio E Architects, the campus purposefully reflects High Tech High’s emphasis on sustainability and the environment by minimizing energy demand, providing natural ventilation along with plenty of daylighting, and packaging it all in a super efficient building design.
The campus design purposefully breaks the building into smaller portions in order to provide internal shaded courtyards which allow natural light and ventilation into the learning spaces and interior hallways. In fact, daylight is the primary lighting source for all circulation and learning areas. The overall organization of the campus floor plan attempts to blur the line between indoor and outdoor space, offering students and staff ample room to connect with nature during anytime of the day.
Passive air conditioning in all the break-out spaces and hallways were achieved by orienting the building to capture prevailing breezes on the site. A large south facing canopy houses a photovoltaic array which manages to generate more than 75% of the campus’ energy demand. Durability is a must for High Schools, and was achieved through extremely resilient, low-toxicity, low-maintenance materials including polished concrete floors, steel framing, steel roof and floor decking, and fiber-cement siding.
lead image © Jim Brady