7200 S. Ingleside Map
South Shore Drill Team
The project's greenest feature is its 'programmatic sustainability', which is most strongly expressed in the gymnasium/theater. With the push of a button, the practice gymnasium converts into a 600-seat theater with tiered seating, stage, and lighting. Spaces surrounding the gymnasium are also designed to be adaptable as the center's needs change over time. Eliminating a separate auditorium space drastically reduces the materials and energy associated with constructing and operating that space and is a natural extension of the not so big house ethic. Unfortunately LEED doesn't yet have a way of recognizing projects for minimizing their space needs. Multi-function spaces aren't a new idea of course, but because of the design challenge they present we don't see them very frequently.
The other major green feature is the not-so-average green roof. Most green roofs are wholly utilitarian spaces, a few provide an amenity to building users, but few are as wholly integrated in the building's mission as this one, which is intended for children to grow and harvest vegetables, flowers, herbs, grasses. And the photo shows there is a visually striking planting design. The skylights penetrating the roof garden provide daylight to the gymnasium and cafeteria.
Green materials include low-VOC paint and carpet, recycled rubber flooring, and recycled wood ceiling panels, and office and classroom lighting is controlled with occupancy sensors. Finally, the exterior fiber cement panels have recycled content and no waste water is produced in their manufacturing. In addition, the panels can be replaced individually in case of vandalism, a real concern in this neighborhood and reflected in the entire building design.
The architect indicates his client, Land's End founder Gary Comer, chose not to pursue LEED certification because he was in too big of a hurry to get this project built. For a project with a self-motivated client and little budget restriction, green features can be confidently incorporated without pursuing LEED. It's not an approach I would recommend for most projects, though, where the budget and client demands all to often result in green features being 'value engineered' out of the project unless LEED certification is a requirement.
Other design team members included structural engineer Arup, MEP engineer CCJM, civil engineer Terra Engineering, theater consultant Schuler Shook, acoustical consultant Kirkegaard, kitchen consultant Cini-Little, and A/V consultant DB Integrated Systems.