Green Design Features of the Recreation and Wellness Center

Concrete Sealed Floors:

The basic principle: Doing more with less. Using the concrete slab as the finish, we save on material, potential maintenance and labor. Additionally, the recycled glass and the integrated radiant floor make this more than just a walking surface.


Tubular Daylighting System:

During a typical, beautiful day in the East Bay, our studios and gymnasium require little to no artificial lights. Based on solar orientation, optical domes scattered across the roof harvest daylight into these spaces. Studies have demonstrated that daylighting in the suns spectrum provides a better learning environment. We believe it provides a better environment for play too!


Landscaping Site Design:

Storm water drainage from the parking lot, landscape areas and roof drains is all directed to a planted bioswale on site where pollutants and oils can be filtered out by the plant fibers in the swale. Water then soaks in through a sand layer beneath the swale surface before it reaches a subsurface drainage system. This sand layer further cleans out oils and pollutants from the storm water. The bioswale system naturally regulates entry of water into the storm drainpipe system allowing the water to trickle into the system slowly. This reduces the potential to overwhelm the pipe system in the event of heavy rains.


Planting:

Around the perimeter of the building, we planted No-Mow Fescue grass. The longer grass covers the root zone and reduces drying out of the soil helping us minimize our need for irrigation water (approximately 30% less). No-Mow Fescue grass also reduces the use of fossil fuels and reduces air pollution as it requires No-Mowing for its maintenance. Our Cork Oak Trees further reduces our water demand and the tree itself is the source for commercial cork.


Irrigation:

The grounds control system is connected to a weather station allowing daily adjustments based on the actual weather that day. “Rotator” sprinkler nozzles were installed which reduce the application rate of water allowing it to more closely match the infiltration rate of the soil. More water in the soil and less runoff into the gutter.


The Trombe Wall:

This wall, located on the west side of the gymnasium, is easily recognizable from the exterior. Combined with an air space, insulated glazing and vents, it forms a large solar thermal collector. During the day, sunlight shines through the insulated glazing and warms the surface of the thermal mass (the concrete wall). At night, the average temperature of the thermal mass will be significantly higher than room temperature, thus, heat will flow into the interior space.  A great passive heating system for the largest RAW facility.

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