Green Building Features

Mary Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School Green Features:

Alternative Transportation: Our school has preferred parking spaces for carpools and low emitting vehicles, plus bike racks and a special bike path. There are showers and changing areas for faculty and staff bike riders.

Stormwater Design: Instead of letting our rainwater wash into the streets and cause flooding, we have a special detention basin and water treatment system that cleans the debris from rainwater as it is fed back into the grounds for natural irrigation.

Heat Island Effect: Roof: The white roof on our school reflects sunlight, which keeps the building cooler and more comfortable than a dark colored roof. A cooler building lets us save money on energy by using less air conditioning.

Light Pollution Reduction: We have full cutoff exterior lighting, so that no added light is sent up into the sky. This is better for our nocturnal animals in the area, and we can see more stars at night, too.

Joint Use of Facilities: Our playing fields, gymatorium and classrooms can be used by other groups for non-school events and functions. Our school is an important part of our community because we can share it with others.

Water Efficient Landscaping: We don’t waste valuable drinking water to keep our school grounds looking green. Instead, our grounds are planted with grasses and wildflowers that grow on their own with nothing more than the rain that falls from the sky.Optimized Energy Performance: We save energy by using a 450kw generator and distributed generation throughout the school.

On-Site Renewable Energy:  We make our own electricity from sunlight with photovoltaic solar panels.

Enhanced Refrigerant Management: Our Tecogen system runs on natural gas to create electricity. The “extra” energy from the system is used to make “free” energy to power 20% of our cooling needs.

Storage & Collection of Recyclables: We have special containers to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastics & metals.

Earth Tubs: Our leftover food waste is put into special containers that make compost, a nutritious chemical- free fertilizer for our plants.

Building Reuse: Instead of knocking down our old school, the construction team reused the walls, floors and roof structures that we already had. By doing this, we had less to throw away, and we needed fewer materials to make our new school.

Materials Reuse: The large wood pillars you see in our lobby and gymatorium entrance were taken from on old building in Hartford that was torn down and re-used at our school.

Lighting System Design and Controllability: The lights in our rooms are controlled by occupancy sensors and daylight sensors. When a room is filled with sunlight or is empty, the lights go off.

Daylight & Views: Daylighting: Almost all of the rooms in our school have natural daylight, so we don’t have to rely on artificial lights as often, and lets us enjoy the outdoors even when we’re indoors.

Low Impact Cleaning & Maintenance Equipment: We only use environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies and grounds-keeping equipment to keep our air clean and fresh. We even have an electric lawnmower to cut our grass.

Aquatics Lab: We are learning how to take care of our aquatic environment by caring for different kinds of local fish and studying their habitats.

Butterfly Vivarium: We are learning how to care for many parts of our environment by studying insects, their life cycles and their habitats.

Greenhouse: We are caring for our environment by studying the growth and life cycles of plants, including fruits and vegetables that we can enjoy.

Interactive Science Theater: We study our connection with the universe with educational videos and planetarium shows.