Gloria Marshall Elementary School

Spring, Texas

  • FIRM



    Spring Independent School District

  • AREA

    105,391 sq.ft.





What initially began as a re-site of an already successful elementary school design resulted in one of the greenest elementary schools in Texas without adding any costs to the district’s capital budget. When the architect and Spring Independent School District began exploring the goals for the new school, conversations quickly turned ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY800COST PER SQ FT$148.04CITATIONWilliam W. Caudill CitationFEATURED IN2011 Architectural Portfolio daylighting, energy efficiency and water conservation. This led to an original, sustainable, high-performance school designed as a teaching tool that will educate generations of students about resource conservation.

The school achieved LEED gold certification and received an ENERGY STAR rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The building is the first school in the Houston area to use geothermal heating and cooling, which is expected to save at least 25 percent in energy consumption over the current code.

The two-story facility aims to incorporate learning into the building, make it engaging and fun, and inspire curiosity. It features an eco-pond, treehouse reading room, prism crystals, interactive thermometer, butterfly garden, glass water-collection pipe, building-systems digital display and water collection/erosion trough.


"This project took a prototypical school and transformed it to be a ‘building as teacher.’ From the sustainable elements to the careful use of materials, all of the elements work together to be the life of the school and engage children. Great use of indoor/outdoor spaces. The playfulness is both appropriate and welcome."--2011 jury