B.C. opens new Samuel Brighouse Elementary, built to LEED gold standards
April 7, 2011
British Columbia’s new $16.4-million Samuel Brighouse Elementary, built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold standards, has replaced the old school on the same site, and will also be a future Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
By Alyssa Dalton
The new school to said to reduce energy use by at least 45 percent, and a rainwater cistern will help reduce water use by at least 50 percent. It also features:
• Floor-to-ceiling windows on the main level and oversized windows on the second floor to maximize natural daylight and allow students to see outside;
• A community garden with trees and flowers for students to enjoy during recess and lunch breaks to increase their connection to nature;
• Solar panels to provide hot water and help heat the building; and
• A living roof to use as a teaching tool.
All of which were ideas from the students.
“It is always great to watch a new school taking shape, and this is especially true of Samuel Brighouse Elementary because of its unique design. This school is a result of a creative partnership between students, teachers, administrators, parents, district officials and architects to ensure the school meets the needs of students and the broader community,” said Donna Sargent, Richmond board of education chair.
Formerly built in 1965, Samuel Brighouse Elementary was replaced as part of the province’s seismic Mitigation Plan because the replacement was more cost-effective than substantial upgrades to the existing building. According to the government, the Richmond school district is working with community partners to finalize the programs and services that will be offered through the Samuel Brighouse Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
“I went to Samuel Brighouse as a child, so [opening day] is truly meaningful to me. As one door closes, another is opening to the upcoming generation of students who will learn and grow within the walls of their beautiful new school,” added Rob Howard, MLA for Richmond Centre.