The Ann Richards Middle School site is comprised of 21.6 acres of thickly wooded land, sloping 18 feet from the street toward a creek at the northern and western boundary. The primary design objective was to situate the building and site amenities at the upper area of the site, using the natural changes in elevation to the advantage of the level changes in the building, while leaving as much wooded areas as possible.
The 184,844 SF school is designed for 1,250 students in grades six through eight. Major categories of the total campus include core academics of math, social studies, English and science, special education, library/media center, visual arts, performing arts, instructional technology, career and technology, physical education and athletics, administration and guidance, and food service and dining. Supporting the physical education and athletic program are baseball, softball and football fields and courts for tennis.
- ENR Texas & Louisiana Best K-12 Project, 2012
- Topping Out 2012 Top Ten
The BIM process allowed the project to be coordinated with all disciplines including the owner, design professionals, and S&P team prior to construction. We were able to identity potential issues prior to an impact in the field, reducing last minute RFI’s and Change Orders and avoiding unneeded rework consuming materials, man hours, and other resources.
The architect’s objective was to achieve maximum credits through design, rather than through added cost impacts, particularly in strategic orientation of glazed classroom windows for natural lighting, windowless walls at west exposure, and geothermal water source heat pump systems for heating and cooling. Also employed are “cool roof” systems, water management to monitor certain heavy-use building and site consumption, energy management technology, and indoor air quality through enhanced mechanical controls as well as crawl space temperature and humidity management. User comfort is enhanced by operable windows and separate (though limited) thermal control within each classroom.