Spring, Texas

Completion Date: September 2010

Owner: Spring Independent School District

Program: A two-story, 105,391-square-foot public elementary school with large-volume communal spaces—a cafeteria, a gymnasium, and an auditorium—concentrated in a central core, with classrooms arranged along the perimeter. The school also includes a library, a music room, a computer lab, an indoor "tree house" on the second floor, and a garden/outdoor classroom at the entrance with a river table and pond.

Design Concept and Solution: The district normally uses a two-building prototype for all its schools, but for Gloria Marshall the board wanted to rearrange the program to conserve natural resources and increase daylighting. The new design also provided an opportunity for the school to integrate environmental teaching tools into the building and grounds. SHW Group consolidated the program into one two-story rectangle to reduce the school's footprint and wall area, and to keep the concrete and steel structure simple and economical. The base of the building has a concrete block and brick facade, which transitions to metal panel toward the top to reduce the load on the structural system. Allowing the school to rely on daylight for much of the day, the architects oriented the building to take advantage of northern and southern light. The south-facing classrooms have aluminum sunshades and, inside, light shelves that bounce and diffuse light via angled ceilings, which, in turn, bring light farther into the room. Throughout the building, the architects blended activities with teaching opportunities. A large slide in the commons has a helix shape, the oak-planked tree house doubles as a platform for measuring the velocity of dropped objects, and a series of small rectilinear windows on the second level scatters the floor with blocks of light, whose slow shifts in shape allow students to track the seasonal changes in the sun's position in the sky. To give students a glimpse into the building's operations, the architects made many of the school's sustainable features visible: glass doors on several geothermal-system closets reveal the workings of the heat pumps, a clear pipe through a science lab carries water from a roof drain to a cistern that feeds the river table, and a computer screen in the commons displays energy savings from features including a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels.

Location: 24505 Birnamwood Blvd, Spring, TX 77373

Total construction cost:  $15.6 million

SHW Group
20 East Greenway Plaza, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77046
Phone 713.548.5700
Fax 713.548.5701


Owner: Spring Independent School District

SHW Group
20 East Greenway Plaza, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77046
Phone 713.548.5700
Fax 713.548.5701

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Principal-in-Charge: Mark Lam, AIA, LEED AP

Project Manager: Jody Henry, LEED AP BD+C

Design Principal: Tracy Eich, AIA, LEED AP

Project Designer: Luis Ayala, Intl. Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Project Architect: Eddie Blanco, AIA

Architect of record: Mark Lam, AIA, LEED AP

Interior designer: SHW Group, Amanda Erb, IIDA, LEED AP

Civil and landscape: LJA Engineering

MEP: CMTA Engineering

Structural: SHW Group

Sound: BAI

Commissioning: Reihl Engineering

Landscape: LJA Engineering

Lighting:  CMTA Engineering

Acoustical: BAI (sound)

General contractor: Purcell Construction

Photographer(s): Luis Ayala, SHW Group

Renderer(s): SHW Group, Ramy Hanna

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Revit, Autodesk, Inc.



Exterior cladding
Masonry: Acme (brick) and Headwaters Construction Material (CMU) and Alamo Stone (Gabion Walls and Stone)

Metal/glass curtainwall: United States Aluminum Corporation, Metal wall panels by Berridge

Concrete: T.A.S. Commercial

Wood: East Teak Find Hardwoods, Inc - Garapa Gold Decking/ Tru Timber Reclaimed Lumber

Stone:  Alamo Stone

Membrane roofing:  Hydro - Stop

Aluminum:  United States Aluminum Corporation

Skylights:  Solatubes

Entrances:  United States Aluminum Corporation

Wood doors:  Door Pro with Ceco Door Products

Fire-control doors, security grilles:  Overhead Door Company

Upswinging doors, other: Operable Partition - Moderco

Locksets:  Schleg

Exit devices: Von Duprin

Security devices:  Stanley Systems, Alltronix, Panasonic

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: USG

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:  J’s Cabinets

Paints and stains:  Sherwin Williams, Idea Paint for Markerwalls

Wallcoverings:  Tru Timber reclaimed lumber, Sosquil, 3 Form

Plastic laminate:  Wilsonart and Formica

Special surfacing:  Ice Stone, East Teak Hardwoods, 3 Form

Floor and wall tile:  Daltile used in Main entry and restrooms

Resilient flooring:  Marmoleum by FORBO – used in classrooms and dining room

Carpet:  C&A by Tandus, Rubber base by Roppe  (carpet used in classrooms, corridors,  library and gym)

Wood Flooring:  BONA  (used at stage)

Office furniture:  Global

Reception furniture:  Global

Chairs:  Verco and Indeco Sales

Tables:  Verco and Indeco Sales

Cafeteria/ Food – Verco
Classroom – Verco and Indeco Sales
Computer Room – Verco
Library – Advanced Office Systems
Outdoor – All Play
Science Lab – Educators Depot

Interior ambient lighting:  Metalux (Cooper)

Exterior:  Invue and Esco

Controls:  Building Controls – Automated Logic by UES – Lighting Controls – Wattstopper

Solar energy Systems:  Inverters- Sunny boy; Uni-Solar-panel manufacturer

Elevators/Escalators:  Minnesota Custom Elevators

Drinking Fountains and Plumbing – Zurn
Hand Dryers and Washroom Accessories – Bobrick

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project: Wind Turbine by Skystream, Slide by Summit USA, Rainwater Recovery Tank by DARCO, Toilet Partitions by Yemm & Hart, Exterior Sun Shades by United States Aluminum Corp, Acoustical Treatments by AVL Systems, Inc., Elevator Interior – Plyboo