The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded LEED-NC gold certification to Paramount Child Development Center in Avenal, designed by Architects McDonald, Soutar & Paz.

Child Development Center Awarded LEED Gold

The general contractor for the project was Clarion Construction, Inc.

Paramount Child Development Center is a center built for the children of Paramount Farms employees. The $7-million, 12,000-sq-ft learning and development center is built on 5.3 acres of land and can accommodate up to 80 children.

The building itself houses a multitude of innovative green technologies, including overhead chilled beam systems and hydronic heating in the floor, which provide noise-free gentle temperature control. A roof mounted solar photovoltaic system generates energy for the facility and provides excess power back to the grid. Recycled steel is used in wall and roof framing. High-performance T5 fluorescent light fixtures with electronic ballasts are controlled by occupancy and daylight sensors to dim or turn off the lighting. Water conservation features include drip irrigation, 1.5 gallon per flush toilets and waterless urinals.

Paramount Farms, a unit of Roll International and the world�s largest almond and pistachio producer, is located in the semi-arid climate of Avenal. Because of its location, Architects MSP maximized the use of natural resources from the area throughout the design process. MSP says its design solution thoughtfully implemented features such as ventilation and day-lighting, which would minimize energy use and costs.

Paramount Farms provided some of their own harvesting trees for landscaping and gardening purposes; rubber floors were used for both interior finishes and exterior play areas � all made from natural rubber and raw materials with eco-friendly manufacturing and recyclable intent. All buildings and canopies are roofed with an Energy Star compliant, fire-rated cool roof membrane composed of 100% recyclable materials, produced without the use of chlorinated ingredients or plasticizers.

Designed with the goal of improved learning, Architects MSP says it incorporated features such as an integrated data system for Internet access in all classrooms, high visibility of spaces for teachers (low walls and plenty of glazing) and learning gardens. In addition, the center was designed to allow for an increase of indoor space per child; from the required 35 sq ft to 50 sq ft. Architects MSP�s design also included an array of safe and durable finishes to enhance tactile experience both inside and outdoors � comfortable spaces and niches for reading inside, a grass amphitheater outside and completely covered play areas.

Architect MSP�s project team included Mike Soutar, AIA, principal-in-charge; Edgar J. Paz, AIA, principal project architect; Jeremy Ngo, project manager; Nasrin Vassef, AIA; and Carlo Cruz, graphics. The owner representative was Eric Johnson, VP Capital Projects. Other consultants included William McDonough & Partners (green architecture consultant); P2S Engineering (mechanical, electrical, plumbing); Wheeler & Gray, consulting engineer (structural); and McIntosh & Associates (civil/landscape).