The Lower Dauphin School District retained EI Associates to design expansions and renovations to the Conewago Elementary School. The project included 70,000 square feet of new building with 11,400 square feet of renovated existing building. The design has obtained LEED® Gold Certification and demonstrates the benefits as well as promotes awareness of responsible Green Building Design.
The name of the Elementary School, Conewago, is borrowed from the Iroquois word meaning “at the place of the rapids”, referring to rapids located nearby on the Susquehanna River. That meaning has been incorporated into the new building lobby by means of a water wall, which will remind students of the importance of water as a natural resource. The project also incorporated a “grey water” collection system which will supply the school’s toilets with recycled rainwater.
Light pollution on the exterior of the building is reduced with the use of LED fixtures, which last longer and consume less energy than incandescent or florescent fixtures. Heating and ventilation is provided by the use of high-efficiency geothermal heat pumps. The entire building mechanical system is controlled via a web-based automated central building control system. The building energy consumption can also be view real-time by students via a building dashboard mounted in the lobby, allowing them to view the usage and output of all building utility systems, including a demonstrational wind turbine.
Included in this project was also an extensive reorganization of the school grounds, providing separate safe vehicular access for cars and school busses and an upgrade to all the play fields.