The LEED Platinum Certified AstraZeneca Discovery Meadows Child Development Center is shaped and oriented for energy optimization, curving around outdoor play spaces that hug up against existing southern woodlands. This orientation maximizes daylighting and minimizes heat loss, setting the 23,500 square foot center into the natural northern hillside. The hillside setting of this 2-story building creates below and above-grade levels. The below-grade first floor features preschool rooms, an open play area, project room, café, kitchenette, storage rooms, and office space. The above-grade second floor features infant activity rooms, a living room, lactation room, learning resource center, reception area, and additional office space. Numerous sustainable design features facilitated the attainment of LEED Platinum Certification in September of 2019. The facility incorporates rainwater harvesting and a highly efficient geothermal heat pump radiant floor heating and cooling system that transfers energy from thirty 450-foot-deep wells into the floor slab. Recirculated air is avoided entirely by requiring only small 100% outside air ducts to feed low “displacement” style diffusers, resulting in increased air quality and allowing for beautiful exposed wood ceilings with butterfly trusses for better daylighting and connection to outdoors. This highly efficient integration allows for the capture of 13% of total building energy use via solar panels sitting over just seven parking spaces and achieves all available LEED renewable energy credits. Reese Hackman provided the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical engineering services, as well as the lighting design, for the $15.2 million center.
Photography by Ulf Wallin