Jackson, Wyoming – August 8, 2011 – Teton County Children’s Learning Center – “The Ranch” has received LEED Gold certification, announced Ward + Blake Architects. The Jackson-based firm designed the county childcare center in the Jackson Hole community of Rafter J Ranch in collaboration with Boston-based D.W. Arthur Associates Architecture, Inc
“The Teton County Commissioners have set a minimum standard of LEED Silver for all new county projects, so the Children’s Learning Center with LEED Gold certification has given them a great start on this goal,” says Ward + Blake Principal Mitch Blake. “This is a very solid sustainable building project for the county and sets a decent mark for other government agencies to consider. It took the cooperation and ingenuity of the entire team of owners, constructors, and design professionals to make this a successful and sustainable project.”
The new 12,500-square-foot center received LEED Gold certification for its many environmentally friendly components, including a ground source heat pump, natural daylighting, motorized windows for cross ventilation, and a thermal mass seismically stable rammed earth wall—the first use of rammed earth in a Wyoming educational center—as well as smart heat and light sensors with a system that automatically adapts thermal comfort to the building’s needs.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system created by the US Green Building Council, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Ward + Blake’s use of a ‘New West’ architectural vocabulary epitomizes the growing Western Modernism movement. The Jackson Hole residential and commercial architects capture the authentic, independent spirit of the West while taking regional design in a fresh and modern direction. The Jackson, Wyo., residential and commercial architecture firm is known for its award-winning eco-friendly innovations and received the Wyoming AIA Award of Excellence. For additional information, visit www.wardblakearchitects.com, or call Mitch Blake at 307-733-6867.
BUILDING PROJECT FACT SHEET: Teton County Children’s Learning Center – “The Ranch”
Architects: Ward + Blake Architects (http://www.wardblakearchitects.com) in collaboration with D.W. Arthur Associates Architecture, Inc.
Project Overview: A state-of-the-art child-centered Teton County-owned green-design learning center where the building serves as both “an inspired learning space and a teaching tool in its own right,” according to architect Mitch Blake, a principal of Ward + Blake Architects
Size: 12,500 Square Feet
Site: 10 acres of wetlands
Special Design Features:
- Ranch inspired architecture: Ward + Blake took cues from the surrounding ranchland, accessing a local vernacular and materials. Homage to a beaverslide is situated in the outdoor area, creating visual interest as well as offering a tribute to the ranchlands that are hayed in the surrounding landscape. The shed roof design is reminiscent of lambing pens or sheds for hay storage. Throughout the building the undulating hallways are inspired by Snake River eddies.
- Outdoor access: Classrooms open directly onto outdoor play areas, allowing children to fully take advantage of the outdoors with views of surrounding ranchland.
- Natural daylighting: Skylights and clerestory lights bring natural light into the classrooms
- Natural ventilation: Motorized windows bring in fresh air and create cross ventilation
- Acoustically treated ceilings: Ceilings reduce reverberation and keep building quiet
- Radiant floor heating: Radiant heating in concrete floors with area rugs keep indoor spaces comfortable for children playing on floors
Sustainable Design Features:
- LEED certification: Building has received LEED Gold designation. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, created by the US Green Building Council, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
- Ground source heat pump: Pump makes use of a hot spring on the property to heat and cool the building.
- Reclaimed wood: Salvaged wood from an old railroad car in Ashton area used for siding, cabinets, trim and ceiling.
- Seismically-stable EarthWall rammed earth construction: Wall in entry area was built using a patented process by Ward + Blake Architects’ Tom Ward and does triple duty as an accent wall, an organizing wall for traffic flow through the lobby, and as a thermal mass that creates a constant temperature inside the building.
Building capacity: The center has availability for 66 students when fully staffed—at this time the center is staffed to accommodate 49 children. Currently there are 36 children.
Ward + Blake Architects
(Mitch Blake – Principal in Charge, Ken Mahood – Project Manager, Chris Jaubert – Project Architect)
D.W. Arthur Associates Architecture, Inc.
(Woody Arthur – Principal in Charge, Kelly Ryan – Project Manager)
Headwaters Construction Company
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineers
Beaudin Ganze Consulting Engineers
Wetlands Specialist/Environmental Engineer
BIOTA Research & Consulting, Inc
Media Contact: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 307.734.5335