The Green Building Initiative has recognized Poudre School District's Bethke Elementary School — a 63,000-square-foot, two-story building — for its achievements in sustainable design and construction using the Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.
During a special dedication event held to celebrate the opening of the school, Dave Cunningham, a representative of the GBI, presented leaders from Poudre School District and RB+B Architects Inc. with a plaque recognizing the building's achievement of three Green Globes.
Key environmental features of the building include a state-of-the-art evaporative system to address its cooling load and allow for the elementary school to be air-conditioned year-round, a super insulated building envelope, high-efficiency boilers and operative windows that ensure 90 percent of the building's space will be daylit.
In addition, many of the sustainable systems that are typically hidden, such as structure and mechanical systems, fire sprinkler riser and piping, data management equipment, and building monitoring equipment, are instead exposed inside the school to indicate their function and provide dozens of educational opportunities.
The building is also divided into "passive" and "active" sides in order to provide a quiet, distraction-free learning environment; its classrooms are on one side, while spaces like the gym, cafeteria, music, and media center are on the other.