Nothing But Net

Valley View Middle School showcased in USGlass Magazine

Valley View Middle School, which opened in 2012, was a replacement project for the Snohomish School District.

Dykeman Architects’ original goal was to create a net-zero school, incorporating sustainability strategies such as highly efficient building envelopes, solar solutions, geothermal loops and rain water harvesting. 

Dykeman, along with Dull Olson Weekes Architects, were selected to collaborate on the project. According to Dykeman, “The overriding goal was to create a building that would achieve sustainability and teach stewardship of the environment' as well as be ‘filled with light and integrated with the natural beauty surrounding it.’” Among the many sustainable strategies employed, the school features a highly efficient building envelope, including triple-pane windows. Architects say the building is designed to accommodate a 900Kw solar array, which would generate all of the energy required to run mechanical systems, lighting and power.

The building itself is designed to be a comfortable, welcoming place for students, faculty and the community. Natural and recycled materials are used throughout the school. Because research has shown that daylighting and outside views help stimulate learning, the spaces are engulfed with daylight. Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral68, which was used on the facade, creates a connection from the inside to the outside and the daylighting continues deep into the interior with movable glass walls between classrooms and shared learning areas.

Energy savings is the critical part of the building envelope and the result is significant.  According to lead architect Tim Jewett, “The Washington State Sustainability Schools protocol mandates that schools have to meet energy savings based on LEED Silver. We more than exceeded that mandate. We are at the Gold, if not Platinum, level of that metric.”

The Energy Use Index (EUI) design-to-code minimum is 45 and Valley View Middle School came in at 18 EUI.  “The glass system was a significant part of that,” says Jewett.  “The glazing allowed us to not only meet the new energy codes in place during the design and build phase, but also achieve the new, more stringent codes that came out in July of this year.”

Jewett and team specified triple-glazed insulating glass units composed of three lites of clear 6-mm units with Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 on the number-two and number-five surfaces.

According to the architects, “The line between exterior and interior is blurred through expansive walls of glass,creating a connection to the environment and inviting the natural landscape inside... Glazing on one side of the library connects it to the commons; the glazing is inscribed with inspirational messaging derived from the educational specifications.” Source Credit – USGlass Magazine

Valley View Middle School Commons