Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

Where Zero is the Top Score

An ultra-energy-efficient building defines a new paradigm for New York’s schools.
Architectural Record
By Joann Gonchar, AIA
Continuing Education

Learning Objectives - After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define net zero energy.
  2. Define terms relevant to net zero buildings such as “daylight autonomy” and “plug and process loads.”
  3. Discuss some of the strategies that SOM used to make P.S. 62 ultra-energy-efficient.
  4. Describe some of the challenges the P.S. 62 project team faced in procuring the latest energy-efficient technology for the building.


AAA 1 Learning Hour
May qualify for 1 AANB Learning Hour
AAPEI 1 Learning Hour
AIBC 1 Learning Hour
MAA 1 Learning Hour
May qualify for 1 NSAA Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Learning Hour
NLAA 1 Learning Hour
NWTAA 1 Learning Hour
This course is approved as a Structured Course
Approved for structured learning
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
Approved for Core Learning
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course is approved as a Core Course
Course may quality for Learning Hours with NWTAA

The ambitious environmental agenda of a new elementary school by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on Staten Island, New York, is obvious from the first encounter: almost 1,600 photovoltaic (PV) panels cloak the 68,000-sqare-foot, two-story structure, covering the south facade, extending over its roof, and cantilevering out to float above a playing field. These PVs, plus about 400 more sheltering a parking area, are expected to generate 662 mWh of electricity per year. This energy should make the building—named P.S. 62, the Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground, after a longtime deputy chancellor for education—the first net zero energy school in the northeast.

Continues at »

This course is part of the Education Academy

Building exterior..

Photo courtesy SOM / © James Ewing

Modular, prefabricated components of performance-grade engineered bamboo are used for building enclosures to provide high performance, sustainability, and dimensional stability.


Originally published in Architectural Record