Twin Buttes Elementary
Twin Buttes, North Dakota
A national review has found that green schools cost less than 2% more than conventional schools, yet the final benefits are 20 times as large. Elementary school students in Twin Buttes, North Dakota started the school year in a new facility designed to establish a culturally-significant building language to carry on the Mandan traditions while also utilizing high performance sustainable strategies to enhance the student experience while lower maintenance costs.
The new school efficiently organizes flexible teaching stations to promote interactions through various learning and teaching styles, including community spaces for events during non-school hours and storytelling areas to reintroduce cultural traditions. Systems were designed above building code for a 15% increase in indoor air quality, which has been shown to aid in memory retention. Water use was reduced by 59,069 gallons per year, the equivalent of the use of 147 homes.
All of the classrooms feature large windows for natural daylight in order to lower energy costs and improve test scores by up to 25%.