Wilson High School, Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma, Washington
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Wilson High School
Tacoma Public Schools
Tacoma, Washington
  • 2008 International Design Award in Architecture, Third Place, Institutional Design International Design Awards
  • 2008 Citation of Excellence, Learning By Design
  • 2008 Judge's Choice Award, IEQ: Visual, Acoustical, Thermal, Air Quality, School Planning & Management Magazine Green Design Awards
In this comprehensive replacement and modernization project, a new three-story building replaced four existing buildings and eight portables, helping consolidate the campus with a compact centralized facility. The site area of the demolished buildings was redeveloped to provide landscaped areas, plazas and parking. The new building houses 25 general classrooms, nine science classrooms, six computer labs, a therapeutic learning center, a library, and administration and guidance centers. 85,700 square feet of instructional space was replaced, and 9,500 square feet of new space was added.
To create this high-performance facility, the design team incorporated sustainable features into a fully integrated system that involves the building envelope; siting; layout; materials; and mechanical, electrical and control systems. Exterior sunshades and louvers provide high-quality daylighting and reduce solar heat gain to the interior. Photo-sensitive control of the indirect/direct classroom lighting reduces electricity usage and heat loads. One- and two-story light shafts extend light to the rear of the classrooms and also conduct warm return air to the rooftop mechanical penthouse via fan-assisted natural convection. A displacement ventilation system – the first installed in a Washington high school – provides 100% outside air to the building, maximizing indoor air quality.