SFL + a Architects Announces Completion of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School Project

Architectural Firm Completes Building for Chatham County Schools

Raleigh, NC, March 07, 2012 --(PR.com)-- SfL+a Architects (http://www.sfla.biz) has announced the firm’s completion of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School in Chapel Hill, N.C., for Chatham County Schools. The high-performance educational facility spans 117,216 square feet and serves 650 students. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-designed features of the school include a ground-source geothermal mechanical system, high-output T-5 lights, spray foam insulation and many other environmentally-friendly features.

“We are proud to announce the completion of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School,” said Robbie Ferris, president and CEO of SfL+a Architects. “We designed the building to meet United States Environmental Protection Agency standards, in order to achieve Energy Star recognition and to be able to maintain a sustainable facility.”

- Daylighting: High performance windows and sloped ceilings maximize and direct natural light deep into the space improving the quality of the learning environment and reduce lighting demands. Reflective skylights throughout the project introduce natural light to interior spaces and reduce energy demand.

- Unique Spaces and Learning Environment: The many teaching environments created including formal classrooms, interactive science labs, informal breakout spaces and small group planning and instructional rooms that offer unique characteristics designed to emphasize interaction and learning potential.

- Technologically Rich Spaces: Each classroom is equipped with smart boards, projectors and wireless internet capability. Each of the two student computer labs feature laptops, desktops and an interactive media center with additional smart boards, projectors and computer stations for student use.

- Welcoming Entry Gallery: High clerestory windows bathe the two-story entry with natural light, while the entry serves as a circulation organizing feature for occupants and guests. Two contrasting strands of custom terrazzo further articulate the space, creating a dynamic, unique identity feature.

- Reduced Energy Consumption: Through the building’s ground source geothermal system, solar water pre-heating, daylighting and high-efficiency fixtures and equipment, consumption is reduced by 36 percent below the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) baseline. Reflective thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing and drought resistant landscaping reduce energy and water demands.

- The project had support and leadership from the superintendent, county commissioners and board of education. Local parent and teacher organizations and future students were engaged in public meetings, establishing project goals and a clear vision for the school. The 31-acre parcel was donated to the county by the developer of the residential community with the intention of developing a strong connection to the mixed-use development via trails and bike paths to local amenities and parks. Goals identified included creating a school that would be an example of environmental stewardship to students, community use after-hours and athletic programs.

- Innovative and sustainable features of the project are central to the daily experience of school occupants and members of the community. The geothermal mechanical and solar hot water heating systems are demonstrated to students in the curriculum. Enhancement of natural daylighting contributes to the quality of the learning environments and emphasizes reduced energy use. Variation of learning spaces encourages faculty/student interaction in formal and informal environments and peer-to-peer mentoring. The building’s design elements and sustainable systems contributing to LEED certification are highlighted in public displays located throughout the school, further raising environmental awareness and responsible use of resources.

- Each classroom is equipped with smart boards and projectors and wired and wireless Internet capabilities. The building has two computer labs for student use featuring laptops and desktop computers. The interactive media center also includes a smart board, projector and individual computers for student use. Heating and cooling for the facility is monitored and controlled with an online energy management system that is accessed onsite or remotely via the Internet. Other technology features include facility wide intercom communication, centralized monitoring of programmable security cameras, motion sensor lighting controls and electronic metering of utilities for monitoring and management of energy consumption.

About SfL+a Architects:
SfL+a Architects is a firm designed to provide state-of-the-art architectural solutions to educational institutions. Founded in 1982, the company has emerged as one of the most highly regarded architectural firms in the Southeast, offering expert services in architectural planning, design, construction, land planning and interior design. The firm has offices located in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Charlotte, N.C. The sister company of SfL+a Architects is Firstfloor K-12 Solutions, LLC, a North Carolina development company pioneering public-private partnerships to develop educational facilities. The company is comprised of talented professionals, each possessing 15-20 years of experience in banking, finance, construction and property management. For more information, visit http://www.sfla.biz.

Emily Packard
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600

SFL + A Architects
Patty Briguglio