Alice West Fleet Elementary School was built to accommodate 750 students and is certified Zero Energy and LEED Gold. The design principles also include use of the Well Building Standard, which explores over 100 features that address the building’s impact on occupant health and wellness. It does this by concentrating on seven concepts that include: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind. Although this project is not pursuing WELL Certification, it has incorporated many WELL features to benefit all occupants.
The 110,000 square foot school is designed to achieve significant energy savings through the use of multiple strategies, including: optimum solar orientation, a tight building envelope, appropriate use of glazing, occupancy sensors and high-performance HVAC systems. Small, individual heat pump units provide the proper amount of conditioned air only when and where it’s needed. Air is conditioned by exchanging heat with the ground via seventy-two 560-foot-deep geothermal wells underneath various areas on the site.
This building is designed to require less maintenance, provide enhanced indoor air quality, and increase occupant productivity, all while saving Arlington County substantial amounts of money in operating costs. The project is designed to achieve National Energy Goals to match the energy performance of the district’s flagship school, Discovery Elementary, and use one-third of the energy of a typical APS elementary school with an Energy Use Index (EUI) of 21. The energy consumption will be offset by a 582 kW solar array located on the roof. At the time of completion, Alice West Fleet Elementary is the largest Zero Energy school in the United States.