Bridgeport, Conn – Last month, Fairchild Wheeler Multi-Magnet High School in Bridgeport opened its doors to the intical enrollment of 750 high school students (1,500 future) from Bridgeport and surrounding communites. With a project budget of over $100 million, this school is Connecticut’s largest new school construction project to date, as well as its most environmentally friendly.
Hartford-based JCJ Architecture was selected to be the architecture. Diversified Technology Consultants (DTC) was brought onboard to tackle the engineering aspects of the project.
The resulting structure is nearly 300,000 square feet and features the latest in energy efficiency technology and sustainable strategies; fitting for a school focused on science education. DTC designed wind turbines and solar panels to be installed on the roof in order to generate close to 120kW of onsite renewable power.
The exterior of the building was made from high performance and recycled building materials, while the HVAC system was designed to incorporate high efficiency heating and coolings systems.
Stephen Gendreau, PE, Manager of Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering at DTC explained that the entire school was planned and constructed with the students in mind. “Since this is a teaching school, we installed flat screen monitors throughout the school that shows the production of the solar panels so the kids could see how they were energizing the building,” he said.
DTC and JCJ Architecture modeled the entire structure in 3D using BIM Technology to ensure all the mechanical systems fit within the building before the start of construction. This ultimately led to fewer issues during construction.
The new high school is expected to achieve a LEED Gold Rating by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), as well as perform 40% better than the code required amount of energy usage.
“I’m really proud that we were able to incorporate the latest in green technology, so that we could give the town of Bridgeport something to be proud of,” Gendreau said.