The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) Nature Preschool project is a LEED Platinum®, Net-Zero Energy Facility designed by LPA, Inc. with a certification through the Living Building Challenge.
This new preschool consists of an 8,000 SF facility featuring three classrooms, administrative spaces, and support spaces. The building uses a variety of active and passive approaches to achieve net-zero status, including rooftop photovoltaic panels which provides 100% of the building’s energy, a light-colored roof to reduce heat island effect, operable windows, radiant floor heating, and lighting control systems. Additional features include reclaimed wood fencing, recycled concrete paving, and irrigation-free, drought-tolerant landscaping.
The ENC Nature Preschool is the community’s first nature preschool and play area. Located on 1.3 acres bordering the Nature Center’s redwood forest, the preschool provides quality education through hands-on experience with nature. Here, students spend most of the day outdoors in play areas. Children are taught the building blocks of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum by playing and learning in the natural world, surrounded by nature.
The preschool also engages parents in an active learning environment that provides a research forum on early childhood and environmental education.