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U of C Early Childcare Learning Center, daycare center, Ross Barney Architects, chicago, leed gold, daylighting

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