01 October . 2016
New Rancho Sienna Elementary School will use geothermal energy
After the Liberty Hill Independent School District officially broke ground for Rancho Sienna Elementary School on Wednesday, September 14, this new $29 million school will soon start going vertical, but one of its most innovative features will be underground.
Rancho Sienna Elementary School will use geothermal heating and cooling from wells drilled 350 feet beneath the playground.
In addition to maintaining a comfortable and productive learning environment for students, the technology can provide significant cost savings.
The “Going Underground on Campus” report from the National Wildlife Federation estimates that geothermal energy can provide savings ranging from 30-75 percent over conventional heating and cooling systems.
“This system is incredibly energy efficient, reducing the carbon footprint of the campus while also significantly reducing wear and tear on the heating and cooling equipment,” said Dr. Rob Hart, Superintendent of the Liberty Hill Independent School District.
Scheduled for completion in August, 2017, Rancho Sienna Elementary will showcase a number of innovations, including a Hill Country design featuring stone, metal panel siding and a pitched metal roof. The design for the school was inspired by nearby buildings, including The Sienna House amenity center in Rancho Sienna, and Zoot Animal Hospital in Liberty Hill.
The school faces Via de Sienna Boulevard, the main thoroughfare in Rancho Sienna, and the library features a curved stone massing wall that echoes the gentle curve of the boulevard. The curved wall opens to the north, with large expanses of glass to take advantage of north daylighting and views.
Situated across the street from the new school, Rancho Sienna’s Overlook Park will serve as an outdoor classroom and as a pick-up and drop-off point for students and parents. The park showcases the solar system, with a scale model of the planets, a glow-in-the-dark sidewalk, and a large observation platform for school lessons and stargazing activities.
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