Casey Middle School | Sustainable LEED Platinum Green Build
Located at the intersection of High Street and 13th Street in Boulder, Colorado, CMS includes grades 6th through 8th and has a curriculum focused on Science, Math, Geography, Literature, and Spanish. The new building is certified LEED Platinum, the first in Colorado, showcasing sustainable practices such as a green roof and a water efficient landscape. The sustainability, nature, and education are continued into the landscape, especially within the playground area. RB+B Architects integrated a beautifully preserved historical facade into the new Boulder Valley Schools building.
There are several curriculum-themed areas in the east plaza and playground area. Centrally located in the playground is a spiraling series of quotes, all nature themed, by Henry David Thoreau, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Muir, and Claude Monet. The area includes a latitude transect of the world at the 40-degree latitude (Baseline Road). Students can follow markers along the 40-degree latitude transect from Boulder and discover other cities and places the latitude passes through, including Philadelphia and Sardinia, Italy.
The planting surrounding the building promotes an efficient and sustainable landscape. The bioswale between the play courts and the sod play area allows water to filtrate through the surface and into the ground. The light colored concrete reduces heat.
Many existing school funded site elements were re-used throughout the landscape, including memorial boulders, flagstone seats, a climbing boulder, and chessboard pavers. Native seed and low-water planting materials are used to reduce irrigation requirements, provide shade, and reduce the effects of heat. The synthetic turf field also reduces the site's water consumption. A garden space is provided for students, teachers, and the community to grow their own food.
Learning by Design