The new Hall-Dale Elementary School helped usher in a higher energy efficiency standard for newly constructed schools in the State of Maine and provides students with a comfortable, colorful, and daylit learning environment.
As one of the State of Maine’s High Performance Schools, energy efficient design has been incorporated throughout the building. The entire building is well-insulated and incorporates a membrane barrier system to reduce air and water infiltration. Additionally, heat recovery units, occupancy sensors, and in-floor radiant heat are provided throughout the facility to increase the building’s performance.
Care was taken during the design to incorporate a balance of natural light and shading for the south-facing classrooms. This was accomplished with the use of cantilevered sunshades and interior light shelves at the exterior windows, thus providing increased natural light without overheating these spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows were placed at the ends of the second-story corridor as well as in the stairwell to provide a connection to the outdoors. Windows throughout the interior increase light transmission and integration between spaces.
Color throughout the school acts as a visual cue. Bright colors and patterning play off architectural elements and provide focal points to enliven and visually divide spaces. They demarcate special spaces such as the library reading corner and identify transitions between different areas of the school.