The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Public Building Commission (PBC) constructed the new 129,969-square-foot Irene C. Hernandez Middle School for the Advancement of Sciences that houses over 1,200 students. The school is comprised of an “L” shaped prototype building with three floors and consists of traditional classrooms as well as art and music classrooms and a fully-accessible library, with a warming kitchen, dining room and various support spaces. CPS and the PBC were committed to durable, cost-effective and sustainable building construction and site development. High efficiency condensing boilers, VAV HVAC system and controls, and daylight harvesting were the major MEP energy saving designs implemented by Primera.
Primera was also responsible for the building energy modeling and analysis, resulting in the first Chicago Public School to achieve LEED Gold certification. The enhanced systems modeled showed a 30% energy savings compared to an ASHRAE 90-1-2004 Baseline Model. In addition to the energy modeling and MEP, Primera also completed the design for all lighting, security, audio-visual, and telecommunications systems. The design phase was completed on an accelerated schedule and was the first middle school constructed to the new prototype configuration conceptualized by SMNG-A Architects.