Pickle Elementary School Details

Location: Austin, TX

The J.J. Pickle Elementary School / St. John Community Center, a unique joint venture between the Austin Independent School District and the City of Austin, was a demonstration project integrating sustainability into design and operations. The building is energy and water efficient, more healthful for students and teachers and provides a much needed home for community services and activities.

Some MEP related “Green Building” features in the project include:

  • Proper solar orientation allows for day-lit spaces in the gymnasium, cafeteria, and all of the classrooms, which, in conjunction with direct and indirect light fixtures and dimmable ballasts, reduces cooling loads and peak energy demand by 40% in addition to providing high quality light. Total lighting energy cost is reduced by 25%.
  • This was the first AISD and City of Austin facility that includes rainwater collection. The water collected serves as a replacement to the water that evaporates out of the central plant cooling tower.

The project’s design goals and concepts were developed through an integrated team approach of the architects, engineers, construction manager, sustainability experts, school district, City of Austin, and neighborhood residents. Each idea brought forward was evaluated for short-term criteria, long-term impact, and overall sustainability.

The success of this project reflects on the cooperation between a variety of designers, sustainability professionals, city officials, and members of the community. This project received a three star rating.