Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences’ (SAAS) is an independent secondary school whose mission is to prepare students for college and life. Its curriculum integrates the arts and emphasizes a global perspective. It uses the resources of its urban environment to extend its classrooms, to enhance its programs, and to engage its students in public service. The building serves as an expression of SAAS’s commitment to urban ecological design.
Seattle Academy students are also keenly engaged with their role in environmental responsibility. Taking the guiding principles that were established with students, the design team worked to design a high performance building. An 11,900 gallon cistern collects rainwater from the roof to be reused for nearly all of the building’s toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. Energy use is reduced by 50% from the LEED baseline and 70% from the 2030 baseline through daylighting, passive cooling, and high efficiency HVAC approaches which includes a radiant ceiling system in classrooms and corridors and VRF heat pumps in lab prep and the Commons.
At upper classroom floors, the south façade brings abundant daylight, controlled by exterior sunshades and interior automated blinds. Automated and manually operable window openings promote natural ventilation and night-flush through classrooms, circulation, and break-out spaces.