When Carver Public Schools in Massachusetts looked to replace two older school buildings with one new facility to house students pre-K through 5th grade, they sought the help of HMFH Architects to assist them in designing an energy-efficient and vibrant learning space. What resulted is the new Carver Elementary School, a more than 110,000 square foot learning space that was 1 of 5 schools nationwide to receive a “Citation of Excellence” from Learning by Design Magazine.

The new E-shaped building features three academic wings – with pre-K through 2nd grade on the lower floor and grades 3 through 5 above. The wings are connected by a central “spine” that provides additional flexible learning spaces including story nooks, teacher workspaces and support areas. In addition to triple-glazed windows, an air quality system and other energy-saving measures, the facility also makes use of Guardian 275® translucent wall systems and mixed-glazed wall systems. The library space, for example, features a mix of glass and translucent panels, providing students with soft natural light while still preserving views to the outside. The unique grid-like nature of the translucent panels and organization of the different glazing materials is also complimentary to the shape of the bookshelves and reading nooks.

The gymnasium also features a similar mix of Guardian 275® translucent panels and glass, using the natural light to create a lively space for the children to play. It’s another bright and welcoming space, and one that also benefits from less need for artificial light sources – saving on energy costs, especially during peak energy use hours when school is in session.

HMFH’s award-winning Carver Elementary School is a great example of how modern school design can benefit students in a variety of ways – from unique and versatile learning spaces to the utilization of daylighting to transform spaces. Natural light and learning environments are a perfect match, and one that the Major Industries team specializes in. From engineering assistance to daylight studies to code question, we will work with you to help you find the right daylighting solution.

(Images ©Ed Wonsek)