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Walnut Bend Elementary School Walnut Bend Elementary School in the Houston Inde-

p r o j e c t  Walnut

Bend Elementary School, Houston

c l i e n t  Houston

Independent School District

pendent School District received the 2008 TASA/TASB

a r c h i t e c t  VLK

Architects, Inc.

Exhibit of School Architecture’s “Special Recognition for

d e s i g n t e a m  Steve Aloway, AIA; Todd Lien, AIA; Kenneth Hutchens;

Outstanding Primary School” commendation. From start

Will Faber; Tracy Loftin; Molly Rall

to finish, green design played a key role in the upgrade

c o n t r a c t o r  Drymalla

to a high-performance building, which was selected as

Construction Company (structural); Landtech Consul-

a case study for utilizing LEED on the district’s future

tants (civil); Marshall Engineering Corp. (MEP); Jarreau & Associates

projects. After an assessment of renovation and addition

(landscape); Amtech Building Sciences (roofing); Busby & Associ-

costs versus new construction, VLK Architects proposed

ates (cost); Frank Clements Associates (food service)

rebuilding the 1960s school for $9,457,755. A more

c o n s u l t a n t s   Henderson+Rogers

p h o t o g r a p h e r  G.



masonry units :

Acme (Upchurch Kim-

baseline building. The school’s original bricks were

waterproofing : BASF; water repellants : The Barry Group; vapor retard -

salvaged and used in several areas, and 82 percent of

ers : Stego Industries; membrane roofing : Grace Construction Products;

construction waste was recycled. Building materials

entrances and storefronts : Vistawall; glass : PPG; paint : PPG; operable

emphasize local and regional products, and low-emitting

partitions :

adhesives, sealants, carpet, and paint were selected for

(Architectural Sales)


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foot structure that is 15 percent more efficient than the

brough); glazed masonry units : Elgin Butler (Upchurch Kimbrough);

Kwik-Wall (Hudson Building Systems); floor mats : Balco



were used in the design of a two-story 84,553-squarer e s o u r c e s unit pavers :

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efficient building envelope, lighting, and HVAC systems

Lyon Photography


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interior materials and finishes. Other green strategies reduce the school’s CO2 emissions equal to planting 93 acres of fully mature trees. To provide shade for



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the school, a majority of existing trees were preserved on the five-acre site, and native plants were selected


for other areas. A loop drive removes traffic from the street, and three playgrounds, a nature center, and a pond grace the grounds. A main corridor and organizing wall create a simple transition into the school and join interior zones. A cafeteria, multipurpose room, and library are separated from academic areas, allowing after-hour community use while the rest of the facility remains secure. N o e l l e

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H e i n z e

First Floor Plan 1 pre-k & k classrooms 2 classrooms 3 special population 4 administration 5 cafetorium 6 resource 7 fine arts 8 compuer media lab 9 mechanical & support 10 science

t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t


Texas Architect Jan/ Feb 2009: Campus Communities