Situated in a residential area of Charleston County, S.C., North Charleston Elementary School was built in 1922, and several additions have been constructed over the years. The oldest portions of the building indicated signs of structural instability. An in-depth analysis revealed significant structural problems. Correcting these structural issues would have consumed CAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$113.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio entire renovation budget, so it was determined that replacing the school was the best course of action.
To minimize site disturbance, the original footprint was copied. The district directed the architect to design the school to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED criteria. This is the first LEED-registered school in South Carolina.
The school features a one-story kindergarten wing and a two-story classroom wing. The building allows natural light into 80 percent of the spaces. The mechanical system uses ice storage, in which ice is made at night when utility rates are lower. Air is blown across the ice during the day to cool the building.
Materials were selected for their recycled content, rapid renewability, low VOC content, long life expectancy and environmental friendliness.