Consulting Engineering

Thaden School

The Walton Family FoundationBentonville, Arkansas

Thaden School was founded in 2016 as a start-up private school serving grades 7-12 for the northwest Arkansas region. This new campus is located in downtown Bentonville on a 26-acre site that was previously a fairground. The school is committed to ensuring that students from all income levels have the opportunity to attend, through a comprehensive scholarship program.

The initial project consisted of four large structures on the west parcel with parking, playfields, trails, and a bike barn located on the east parcel. The short walk outdoors between classes fosters a sense of community and connection to nature that is not always present on a secondary school campus.

All buildings share a common geothermal wellfield that serves variable speed heat pumps within each building. Occupancy controls and energy efficient kitchen strategies, such as the use of induction cooking ranges, helped meet the aggressive energy usage target. In addition to energy savings, daylighting and enhanced indoor air quality were high priorities for the school. Spatial Daylight Autonomy (SDA) modeling software was used during design to ensure that daylighting goals were met.

This building received the AIA National Education Facility Design Award.