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Simonsdale Elementary School

Portsmouth, Virginia

The LEED Simonsdale Elementary School is an 80,000 SF two-story building for 780 students. The school is supported on reinforced concrete spread footings. Steel columns, beams, and open-web bar joists support floors and roofs. Super-insulated metal panels rise above precast concrete base, providing a maintenance-free and energy-efficient building. The central theme that emerged in planning the school was one of flexibility. Each classroom provides space that can be configured however a teacher sees fit using furniture on casters.

The vegetated roof is visible from the street, and louvers and overhangs protect windows on the south side. Rain water is filtered by the vegetated roof, rain gardens, and pervious concrete pavers in the parking areas. Recycled material and responsibly harvested wood products lessen the building’s draw on natural resources. Completed in August 2011.


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