Year: 2004
Award Type: Award of Honor
Territory: PG&E Territory
Location: Oakland, CA
Owner: Oakland Unified School District
Developer: Oakland Unified School District
Architect: VBN Architects
Market Segement:
Community
School / University
Square Footage: 95,647
Type of Building:
School
Award Credit:

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

Pete O. Lapid & Associates, Inc.

Mechanical Engineer

Raymond Brooks Engineers, Inc.

Photography

Michael Bruk, Bruk Studios

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Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Classroom Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Site Plans
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Cesar E. Chavez Education Center

Cesar E. Chavez Education Center

Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Classroom

Cesar E. Chavez Education Center Site Plans

Cesar E. Chavez Education Center

In Oakland’s densely populated Fruitvale/San Antonio area, the design of the Cesar E. Chavez Education Center responds to Oakland Unified School District’s mission to raise student academic performance and provide equal opportunities for all children to succeed. It synthesizes school and community goals into a strong set of design criteria. This elementary school embraces its surrounding diverse urban community by creating a true neighborhood center through educational and childcare programs, and providing much-needed recreational and joint/dedicated community use spaces.

The core of the 672-student public elementary school is 25 classrooms, each with outdoor learning patios or shared decks, conceived in two-story, fully day lit wings to form two “small schools.” The facility’s program supports small class sizes of 20 for K-3 and team teaching. The project encompasses 95,647 square feet on a 7.85-acre site. It was certified by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools program with a score of 36 points for high-performance design, including 10 points for environmental quality, 11 for energy efficiency, and 10 for site design. It exceeds Title 24 margins by 25 to 30 percent.

The entire site layout and specific academic areas maximize natural daylighting through a combination of controlled south glazing with sunscreens, diffuse north-facing glazing and translucent sandwich panel skylights. Maximum natural ventilation, passive heating and cooling (with air conditioning only in the multipurpose room and library) and a well-integrated efficient lighting and control system help achieve the energy analysis of 30 percent energy savings over minimum state standards. Utilizing DOE-2 computer energy analysis and physical modeling using a heliodon, the academic classroom and corridors were designed to need supplemental electric lighting only on the innermost portions of the lower floor classrooms.

The school’s fenestration is designed to maximize natural daylight for little or no additional cost, particularly in classrooms and hallways where it best reduces electric lighting usage. In general, glazing is oriented as much as possible to the due-north or due-south to control heat gain. East- and west-facing glazing was minimized and treated with cut-off shading devices. The south-facing glazing utilized a high-louvered or clerestory combined with view glazing below horizontal shading. Light well openings in the second floor allow natural light to penetrate down to the ground floor spaces and corridors, minimizing the need for electric lighting during daytime hours.

The jurors were impressed by the efforts made to bring the best of energy-efficient, sustainable design to a tough, constrained urban site. They particularly noted the effort to align the classrooms on a north/south axis for maximum use of daylighting despite the site’s orientation--and the delightful building forms that resulted from this effort. The control of south-facing glazing with shading and the project’s 30 percent energy savings over minimum state standards further convinced the jurors of the project’s award-winning potential. They also cited its flexible layout, energy-efficient lighting system, and use of ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. “This really is an oasis,” the jurors exclaimed. “It makes a compelling argument for dealing with cultures and context and it embodies the success of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools program. If schools should be centers of the community, this project supplies an outstanding example.”

    Notable Accomplishments

  • Exceeds Title 24 margins by 25 to 30 percent.
  • Embodies the success of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools program.

Award Credit

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

Pete O. Lapid & Associates, Inc.

Mechanical Engineer

Raymond Brooks Engineers, Inc.

Photography

Michael Bruk, Bruk Studios

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