Originally anticipated to receive LEED-silver certification, the 69,988-sq-ft French Family Center addition to Ursuline Academy’s existing campus surpassed expected goals and was awarded LEED gold.

Photo: John W. Davis, DVD Design Group

The project diverted 76.92% of its waste from landfills, reduced the use of potable water for irrigation by 59.5% and reduced the potable water use in the building by 47.5%. More than 45% of the materials used on the project were harvested or manufactured within 500 mi and 44.36% contained recycled content. The building had an overall energy reduction of 32.7%.

A 2,500-gallon cistern is located onsite and provides opportunities for hands-on educational practices in the school. The cistern collects water from the roof and, when filled to a predetermined capacity, overflows into a small pool with a solar-powered bubbler pump. If the small pool reaches its capacity, the excess water is directed to a landscaped area that can filter the water naturally.

More than 90% of the learning spaces have views to the outside, which bring in natural light, and each classroom with a window uses daylight harvesting as a means to help reduce the heating/cooling load and reduce the total energy consumption.

Key Players

Submitted by: Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors
Developer/owner: Ursuline Academy of Dallas
General contractor: Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors, Plano, Texas
Construction manager: Building Solutions, Dallas
Architect: SmithGroup F&S, Dallas
Civil engineer: Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers, Dallas
Structural engineer: BrocketteDavisDrake, Dallas
MEP engineer: Blum Consulting Engineers Inc., Dallas