Local Materials Used
Local materials used include tree poles which provide the main vertical structural support of the building, natural stone used to create thermal mass inside the building, as well as concrete block used to create stem walls and the earth sheltered retaining wall, located along the north side of the building.
Regionally manufactured products include the standing seam metal roof, as well as the evaporative cooling units which were each fabricated in the metropolitan Phoenix area. LEED credits for Storage & Collection of Recyclables, Construction Waste Management, and Local & Regional Materials all contributed to the overall resource conservation qualities of the building.
Innovative Resource Conservation
One of the more innovative resource conservation strategies employed on the James Learning Center is the building-integrated use of plant materials for solar control. The use of these deciduous vines along the south side of the building (see CAD model image at right) eliminated the need for a more expensive, resource intensive solution, that would have required actual roof overhangs, or other constructed forms to provide.
Our use of these plants materials for solar control on the James Learning Center required only a light gauge metal frame, steel cable, and some water collected from the roof.