Fremont Union High School in Sunnyvale Celebrates Its New Cafeteria and Classroom Building, Continuing a Beautiful Tradition
In 2012, the Fremont Union High School District in Sunnyvale hired Aedis to upgrade a 1950s-era cafeteria building. But shortly afterward, projected skyrocketing student enrollments showed the school needed more classrooms. Aedis rapidly transformed this project into a new 32-classroom and cafeteria building.
The new building harmonizes with the surrounding campus buildings, all built in the early 1900s in the Spanish mission revival style. In May, the completed building was formally opened and celebrated. Students, teachers, principals, and others turned out for an opening ceremony. The San Jose Mercury News covered the event:
Aedis Architects’ headquarters goes platinum: Earns highest LEED-CI rating for renovation of our office space
|Aedis Architects’ headquarters in San Jose earned a LEED-CI Platinum rating for our green renovation of a 1920s-era building, converting a warren of rundown tiny apartments into one of the city’s first LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) Platinum-certified projects.|
Thang Do, Senior Principal at Aedis, tells the story:
How do we love green? Let us count the ways….
What makes our project sustainable?
We start with picking the location: It’s on a downtown block with a high walkability index and excellentaccess to public transportation. Our employees each are provided a free VTA Ecopass good for all local public buses and light rail.
We provide bike storage and showers for employees. In addition, we buy subscriptions to Bay Area Bike Share bicycles for employee use.
Our project is an adaptive reuse of a nearly century-old historic building. Taking a minimalist approach, we intervened as little as possible to allow the building to continue its transformation over time.
We diverted more than 90 percent of construction waste from landfills. Much of the lumber removed from the project was reused as architectural woodwork.
Our water use is more than 40 percent below baseline through the use of waterless urinals and high-efficiency fixtures.
We provide natural daylighting and access to outside views for all occupants. The mostly LED lighting system uses both occupancy and daylight sensors, so lights are never on when they don’t have to be.
Our employees enjoy a displacement ventilation system, which delivers not only very high efficiency but also high comfort, as it ejects airborne pollutants from the building to create a healthy indoor environment.
Also, 98% of wood-based products are FSC certified. All materials in the project are low emitting or non-emitting of chemical treatments.
Interestingly, platinum level certification was achieved without the use of any solar photovoltaic or power-generating measures (we are in the shadow of an adjacent high-rise building so our solar exposure is limited).
Perhaps best of all, construction cost for this complete transformation was only $86 per square foot.
We have designed several LEED-rated buildings, as well as the state’s first net-zero energy school, so it was a given that our new headquarters would also be LEED rated.
Aside from LEED rating, we hoped to create a setting that is as native to San Jose and our neighborhood as possible. For us, that meant paring down the building, using exposed functions as decor, and making it as harmonious with its outer environment as we could for now. But it’s a work in progress. Stay tuned.
Above: Our LEED-CI scorecard
Download a LEED-CI Factsheet from the U.S. Green Building Council