Lydiksen Elementary School

Campus Modernization, Phase 2

Pleasanton Unified School District hired Aedis to facilitate an in-depth programming and design process to modernize Lydiksen Elementary School. Aedis engaged the staff and community in a Design Thinking process that delved deep into the curriculum and pedagogical goals of the school and PUSD’s aspirations to deliver #StudentCentered learning in a socio-emotionally supportive environment.

With the completion of Phase 1, we are excited to see the District’s vision begin to come to life. We are now embarking on Phase 2 of this exciting project and are honored to be part of the school’s continued transformation!

#StakeholderEngagement #SchoolModernization

Thang Do, FAIA, Design Principal Afsha Ali, AIA, Project Architect Anna Harrison, Education Planner

San Mateo-Foster City School District to Act on Aedis Architects’ Recommendations Regarding HVAC and Air Filtration Improvements

On January 21, 2021, Aedis Architects presented to the San Mateo-Foster City School District its “HVAC & Air Infiltration Implementation Study”. The Board of Trustees accepted Aedis’ recommendations and unleashed nearly $130 million of Measure T funds to upgrade HVAC and air filtration in the District’s 21 schools. This work is the key to improving the comfort, health, and safety of District indoor environments in a pandemic and post-pandemic era. These recommendations also move the District toward its Board-mandated strategic objective goal: zero-net-energy.

The Aedis-led study team, which included Cypress Engineering Group and American Consulting Engineers-Electrical Inc. worked closely with the District’s maintenance staff to inventory the mechanical and electrical systems at each school. The process was fast-tracked due to the urgent need to reopen schools in the COVID-19 environment. The team evaluated an extensive range of options, factoring in the schedule, cost, energy efficiency, site constraints, future construction plans, and electrical load requirements.

Aedis completed the Study in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the increasingly frequent climate-change-related heat waves and wildfires that have ravaged California in recent years. It outlined filtration options for indoor air quality (IAQ), considering recommendations issued in ASHRAE guidelines, the National Energy Management Institute, and other white papers published regarding IAQ, ventilation, and the COVID-19 virus. The recommendations included upgrading filtration to ASHRAE recommended MERV 13, now a California Energy Code requirement. Other technologies such as needlepoint bipolar ionization and UV-C lights were also explored, with bipolar ionization recommended to be used on a limited basis to supplement where MERV-13 is not feasible. The Study confirmed that the District-initiated installation of portable air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters for fine particle filtration was an appropriate measure to supplement built-in air filtration.

We recognize and applaud the San Mateo-Foster City School District’s leadership in transforming indoor environments to cope with the effects of the pandemic and climate change. We want to especially thank Patrick Gaffney, Chief Business Officer, Tish Busselle, Advisor to the Superintendent, and Joel Cadiz, Former Director of Facilities, who were instrumental in supporting the creation of the report and providing us with meaningful and timely feedback.

Parkside Elementary Grand Opening

Pittsburg, CA

We are thrilled to congratulate Parkside Elementary in Pittsburg, CA on their ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. We were fortunate to lead the charge in the design of this ZNE school, complete with LED lights, solar panels, efficient AC units, and ceiling fans on an all-electric campus. The school did an exceptional job hosting a virtual grand opening which included speeches, pre-recorded interviews (our very own Pascal Najem had important information to add!) and even a virtual school tour.

The link to their virtual event can be found here.

Brownell Middle School & School Safety

The layout of a school campus, plus the design of its buildings and grounds can contribute to the safety of a school. The recommendations outlined within the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guide take several factors into account in a safe school, and it turns out that a school does not have to look or feel like a prison to be safe. Quite the opposite.  Many of the best practices in designing a safe school can and will also contribute to its effectiveness as a learning environment. CPTED recommendations start with community engagement to aid in education and widespread buy-in on a proposed design. The design begins with the idea of a “defensible space” and the deterrence of potential offenders before committing criminal acts. The following represent just some of the factors that an architect must consider in creating a safe school:

  • Approach and entry configuration
  • Appropriate site location
  • Landscaping
  • Supervision, views, cameras
  • Fences, gates, locks, keys, alarms
  • Windows: location, and type

Other strategies that affect the behaviors of potential offenders include the overall appearance and condition of a school site. A school that appears run-down and vulnerable will invite more vandalism and an assortment of crimes. Also, an active school site with non-school-related functions occurring on-site increases the potential of crime detection and will act as a deterrent. CPTED strategies are most successful when the design process includes the combined efforts of the architect team, owners/operators, community participants, and law enforcement professionals.

K-12 Mass Timber Project – APPROVED!

It is with great excitement we share that our first K-12 Mass Timber project has been approved by DSA and will soon be under construction. Prospect High School, in Campbell Union High School District, will soon be transformed with the addition of two, single story buildings and approximately 1.5 acres of site work that will seamlessly connect with the existing campus and add approximately 20,000 SF of indoor and outdoor learning areas.

The importance of nature and biophilia for student health and wellness was a major focus for this project and the designs truly reflect that commitment. A strong indoor-outdoor connection was woven into the design, and Cross Laminated Timber, a natural, renewable, sustainable, and low carbon footprint material, was used for the roof structure. It creates a warm, pleasant and biophilic space that promotes an increase in student performance as well as boosts the energy level and overall well-being of the occupants. The classroom project is estimated to be completed and ready for the 2022-23 school year.

Project highlights include:

  • Spacious classrooms, Makerspaces and Science labs with large covered, outdoor collaboration spaces for extended learning
  • Exposed CLT roof deck with high ceilings
  • Large skylights to maximize daylight