Education is the backbone of every society. The way we raise our children and the education we provide them is one of the most fundamental and important things we do as a community. Our children spend 8 hours of their lives at K-12 institutions five days per week. As important as the teachers, tools, and technology are to support our children, it is equally important that the facilities in which they learn add value to their experience. These institutions must be healthy, safe, durable, and sustainable.
From a recent retro-commissioning effort, one teacher told us, “The AC has been cycling on and off, high and low, just like it’s supposed to, for the last two weeks. I couldn’t be happier, and I almost feel like a new person!” – Slavens K-8 Music Teacher after commissioning repairs were completed.
We understand the importance these projects represent as they are a significant investment of our community’s hard-earned monies that must provide safe, durable, practical, and maintainable learning environments and support the rapid growth our community is experiencing.
Group14 has worked with multiple school districts, both rural and city, to update, optimize, and reimagine new and existing school facilities. School buildings impact student health and their ability to learn. Increased indoor air quality has been shown to decrease sick days among students and staff. Access to natural daylight and views is correlated with increased student test scores and decreased mental and visual fatigue. By utilizing low-VOC materials and increasing ventilation to spaces, we can create an indoor environment that is healthy for building users.
Active staircases and hallways that encourage movement are another aspect of sustainable design that supports healthy students. Having worked on over 40 K-12 schools in the past 5 years, Group14’s K-12 experience is unparalleled in Colorado.
Every school district has a person or team that determines the School District’s standards and guidelines. Sometimes these Standards and Guidelines are written down, but often it is “Institutional Knowledge” gained from years on the job and just knowing what works and what doesn’t work. Our first step on existing building projects is to download that institutional knowledge and then set in place processes, means of communication and methodologies to ensure the design and construction are always meeting your expectations.
CHPS, LEED consulting, energy analysis, Utility incentive programs, and commissioning are just a few of the ways we contribute to the education fabric of the K-12 space. Our work in the K-12 arena contributes to 21st century learning environments and beyond.
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