Submitted by Roebbelen Contracting

The new 54,000-sq-ft, two-story Fairmont Elementary School is the first LEED facility for Vacaville Unified School District. An interactive touch-screen display, located in the main foyer, tracks energy consumption as well as energy produced by the wind, turbine and solar panels. The display has brought a whole new hands-on education opportunity for students to learn about sustainability. Not only are they hearing about it, seeing the features at the school they attend each day, but they can make a difference by being accountable for their own energy usage and savings.

The building includes 27 classrooms, office, library, computer lab, teachers workroom and break room, storage, conference rooms, kitchen and multi-purpose room. The new multi-purpose room comes complete with adjustable-height basketball hoops, a black-box stage and rear projection screen for assemblies and presentations. The entire multipurpose room is illuminated by using the skylights, further cutting down on energy consumption. The site also includes a shade structure located next to the playfields.

To earn a LEED silver designation, the school site has drought resistant landscape, bioswales; landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than 6%) and filled with vegetation, compost and/or riprap. The water’s flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids the trapping of pollutants and silt.

On the back of the school, a wind turbine is installed for wind power, and photovoltaic panels are on the top of the shade structures to generate electricity as well. The top of the building has a cool roof which is light colored to increase reflected heat and reduce the building heat thus lowering the heat typically created by buildings and lower the cooling loads on the interior of the building.

All windows have sunshades and efficient double-paned windows. Bicycle racks are provided to encourage commuting and fitness.

As a lease-leaseback project, it gave the district the greatest flexibility in its construction procurement by mitigating strict low-bid requirements, which often result in poor quality construction and potential disputes.

Project Team

Developer/Owner: Vacaville Unified School District
General Contractor: Roebbelen Contracting Inc., El Dorado Hills
Construction Management: Capital Program Management, Sacramento
Architect: ANOVA, Placerville
Civil Engineer: Warren Consulting Engineers, Folsom
Structural Engineer: Barrish, Pelham and Associates, Sacramento
MEP Engineer: Capital Engineering Consultants Inc., Rancho Cordova
Subcontractors: MTW Group, Sacramento; Roebbelen Contracting, El Dorado Hills; Bay Cities Fabricators, White City, Ore.; Perryman Mechanical, West Sacramento