2RW Projects Featured in National Building Museum Exhibit

2RW Consultants, Inc is proud to have two of its projects featured in the Green Schools exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, which runs through January 5, 2014.

Studies have shown that with the implementation of certain principles of green schools, fewer days are lost due to illness, money is saved, and test scores go up. Green Schools examines several examples of what is possible and provides resources to consider as the next generation of school buildings are constructed. Of the 41 K-12 buildings featured in the Green Schools exhibit, two are projects that 2rw engineered: Poquoson Elementary School in Poquoson, VA and Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-K in Manassas Park, VA.

The city of Poquoson is located on the eastern tip of Virginia’s lower peninsula. The elementary school itself is surrounded by wetlands. Completed in 2008, the school building was designed not only with energy efficiency and environmental friendliness in mind; it was designed to teach the students about energy use, water use and their surrounding environment; creating environmental stewards of their students from a young age. The school is designed to consume 51% less energy than a comparable building of standard construction.

Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-K, completed in 2009, was designed to meet the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Challenge to use 40% less energy than a code-compliant school. 2RW’s efforts helped address the challenge in a number of ways:

  • classrooms are oriented to maximize visible and controllable light; natural daylight is provided in 90% of regularly occupied spaces and tubular skylights are provided in the gymnasium and corridors; resulting in sufficient illumination without the need for artificial lighting during most daylight hours;
  • artificial light is controlled by occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors;
  • the building is heated and cooled with geothermal heat pump systems, which transfers the energy stored in the Earth to condition the air in the school;
  • energy from exhaust air streams is used to precondition ventilation air;
  • building systems are articulated throughout the building; and
  • rainwater is harvested and used for toilet flushing and irrigation, conserving 1.3 million gallons of water annually.

2RW’s role was instrumental in Manassas Park ES and Pre-K being recognized as a 2010 Top Ten Green Building by the AIA Committee on the Environment and both schools receiving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.

“Since the firm’s inception in 1985, our mission has been to design environmentally responsible, energy-conscious buildings and assist our clients in realizing their goals for efficient operation, conservation, and sustainability,” said 2rw co-founder and vice president, Bob Crowell. “We are proud to be a part of the improvement of environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S. and to help instill those values in young students.”

Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, and with branch offices in Washington, DC, 2RW specializes in sustainable design and energy reduction strategies for building envelope, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.