The Environmental Charter School, located in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, is designed to both support academic activities as well as serve as an educational tool itself. The ECS of Pittsburgh places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, global perspectives and outdoor learning, and the building is designed to advance these goals. The building envelope is super insulated and the form is kept compact to minimize heat loss. The classrooms are arranged to take advantage of northern daylighting, as well as the views of the historic gate tower and park across Penn Avenue. An attached greenhouse on the southern facade acts as a buffer zone, solar collection area and educational teaching tool. Aquaponic tubes in the greenhouse can be used to grow herbs and vegetables, while the water also acts as a thermal mass to store solar heat. Outside, the southern side of the site is dedicated to student run garden beds, and an outdoor classroom.
Duration: 12 weeks
Instructors: Steve Lee, Stefani Danes