UNO’s Veterans Memorial Charter School

HACIA Green Corner

Submitted by:
Urbanworks, Ltd.

Project Name:
UNO Veterans Memorial Charter School Complex
LEED Gold Certification

Project Client:
United Neighborhood Organzition


Project Background:

Project Client: UNO’s Veterans Memorial Charter School Campus

is an 180,000 square foot learning facility transformed from an abandoned warehouse.  This adaptive reuse structure will serves more than 1,800 K-12 grade students and lauds itself for being the culmination of grassroots leadership and community activism within Chicago’s school reform movement to provide cutting-edge education and building design within the local southwest Latino Community.

This competition-winning design stacks two elementary schools and a high school on separate floors.  Dramatically glazed building volumes create sunlit communal spaces that breathe new life into an existing brick and concrete industrial structure. Communal spaces are multi-functional – providing areas for large civic celebrations such as Naturalization Ceremonies and smaller neighborhood events including adult education for the local community.

Extensive green elements transform spaces that promote good health through sustainable technologies. Strategically located glass elements provide natural lighting throughout the facility.  A 90-panel solar thermal photovoltaic system supplies hot water for the campus.  An extensive green roof provides pleasant outdoor spaces for education of students and faculty. The school is not only achieving LEED Gold certification, but also writing a new chapter for education and the environment.

Green Features Include:
An automated building control system, which saves energy through occupancy sensor-activated functions.
Energy-efficient lighting, mechanical and plumbing systems.
Permeable paving, allowing rain water to seep through to the ground, which naturally cleanses pollutants and recharges aquifers instead of having storm water run onto other properties and into storm drains.
90 solar thermal panels used to provide air cooling during warm weather as well as hot water throughout the building.
A green roof that will be utilized by the students, teachers and staff for recreation and educational purposes as well as by the surrounding community. This expansive green roof will effectively combat the city’s heat island effect during the summer, reducing energy use, while at the same time diverting storm water runoff from overtaxed city sewer treatment facilities.
Energy efficient heating and cooling systems.
Daylighting through the use of larger than required window sizes in over 90% of occupied rooms.
Energy efficient Low E glass, which blocks UV light and reduces heat gain.
Over 80% of the existing structure was reutilized, thus greatly eliminating construction debris and waste. Of the debris removed from the site, a great majority was diverted from landfills through recycling.
Maintenance areas designed to accommodate green cleaning methods and materials as well as recycling.

Please contact Patricia Saldana Natke for information on this project.