School within a school constructed as part of Punahou K-1 Neighborhood Project in Hawaii
The Punahou K-1 Neighborhood Project is the new construction of a kindergarten and first-grade teaching environment within a larger independent K-12 school committed to integrating sustainable practices into the school curriculum. An eco-charrette was held in 2007 to establish a direction for the design, bringing together members of the project team and the school’s board, faculty, administrators and members of the physical plant office to establish sustainable design goals, identify opportunities and strategies, and to introduce LEED for Schools/New Construction to the stakeholders. The project is slated for completion in June 2010 and is seeking LEED Platinum certification.
The site plan arranges the 250-student program into 6 paired-classroom buildings that break down the scale of the project, forming courtyards and outdoor spaces between the buildings. The reuse/renovation of an historic 3-story building (Wilcox Hall) is integrated into the project as administrative offices and art and music classrooms. A multi-purpose room (‘Community Room’), used as a dining hall and morning chapel / assembly space, is located on the lower floor beneath the City House classrooms.
Hawaii’s cultural mainstream is favorably aided by having an embedded awareness of sustainable concepts from native Hawaiian practices. The opportunity for furthering this awareness among early-age students at the Punahou K-1 learning environment carries with it much promise and potential by the strategies developed here.