AIA North Carolina Eastern Section

2010 Eastern Section Design Awards 1

Award Winner 1  Award Winner 2  Merit Award  Honorable Mention

Award Winner

SFL+A Architects - New Century International Elementary School & Western Regional Library

Project Name: New Century International Elementary School & Western Regional Library

Completion Date: August 2010

Location of Project: Fayetteville NC


New Century International Elementary School, designed to generate more energy than it consumes, is the embodiment of the community’s total commitment to its children, sustainability and energy efficiency. Designed to LEED Platinum standards and earning an Energy Star Rating of 99, this high performance building will begin a new era of building design and construction for the community.


Architect’s Statement Concerning Design Program and Solution:

New Century is developed as an integral part of a natural system with which we interact — including fresh air, sunlight, water and greenery — the result transforms our experience of architecture. An enhanced entry transforms and teaches those entering the building. Connecting the interior and exterior realms, New Century’s entry immerses teachers, students and visitors in environmental concepts right away. Here occupants can interact with displays that allow real-time demonstrations of the building’s features. In the lobby, one can see how much water and electricity is being used in the building and how much is being saved. These unique teaching tools aid students in understanding how the building interacts with the environment.

New Century serves as a model for sustainability and energy conservation. The key design characteristics of high performance design elements, daylighting, low-energy controlled lighting and geothermal HVAC not only serve to conserve energy, they save considerably on the total cost of ownership for the community. The total cost of ownership savings over the forty-year life of the building is estimated to be in excess of $15,000,000.00. New Century is built to easily accept roof mounted solar panels. The installation of these panels will allow New Century to fully realize its design as a “net-zero” building, and will allow the school to return energy to the grid.

Further enhancing New Century’s contribution to the community, and also a part of the high performance design, is the attached Western Regional Public Library. This library allows for safe and secure access from a separate entry point as well as through the co-joined New Century media center. The is masterplanned to include another high performance school and a community recreation center.

Type of Construction (Materials, Engineering Systems and Other Pertinent Technical Information):

The building type is Type IV-A. The project consists of a single story masonry load bearing “hybrid” structural system. The building is a high performance envelope with the roof providing R-30 and the walls insulated with 3 inches of insulation. The mechanical system consists of water source heat pumps connected to a geothermal well field. The fresh air is provided by DOAS (dedicated outside air supply) units located in mezzanines throughout the building.

Description of Physical and Environmental Context:

The project has approximately 100,000 square feet with an attached public library. The facility will provide daylighting in the classrooms and auxiliary spaces. The south elevations are shaded with light shelves to bounce light into the spaces. The south classrooms will have a reflective surface at the windows to bounce light into the spaces. The lobby is the north/south spine for the facility. It connects the library to the school and the school to the courtyards between the classroom wings. The kitchen is attached to the cafeteria that is also part of the multi-purpose room. These larger spaces have north daylighting and can be accessed during after-hours activities.

Sustainability Features:

  • 50% reduction in energy over ASHRAE 90.1 - 2004
  • Landscape & Exterior Design to Reduce Heat Islands
  • Water Use Reduction, 20% Reduction
  • Geothermal HVAC
  • Daylighting


Construction Cost: $16,997,867