For this legacy project, CAW introduced a number of high-performance building features to create the first LEED Platinum public school building in the Bay Area. In need of a new gymnasium for its growing student population, the school district taped the firm to design a new 18,000 square foot gymnasium with a welcoming plaza and drop-off area. Students now arrive on campus to a new welcoming entry plaza highlighted by the light-filled, north-facing glass lobby that invites students and patrons into the gymnasium and campus beyond.
To meet the school district’s goals for achieving the highest standards for energy consumption and sustainability, CAW’s design solutions integrated the large clerestory at the roof ridge with translucent glass that fills the gym with abundant diffuse natural daylight. This allows for daytime use of the gym without any artificial light sources reducing lighting needs by more than 70% in the facility. The entire roof surface of the building employs a photovoltaic film to generate power from the sun and further offset the energy needs of the building. Now considered a model for how architects can shape sustainability within educational environments as well as an educational tool for the students who use the building daily, the Sequoia Union Gymnasium furthers the educational mission of the school district and community in multiple important ways.