ENC Nature Preschool

"A great deal of thought was given to the creation of a learning envirornment where nature was the focus."

AIA, Orange County Chapter Awards Program Jury

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) Nature Preschool project is being managed by Griffin Structures and designed by LPA. Project goals include achieving LEED Platinum®, net-zero energy designation, as well as certification through the Living Building Challenge.

The scope of work includes the construction of a new preschool consisting of an 8,000-square-foot 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 will provide 100% of the building’s energy, a light-colored roof to reduce heat island effect, operable windows, radiant floor heating, and lighting control systems. The site features reclaimed wood fencing, recycled concrete paving, and irrigation-free drought-tolerant landscaping.

The ENC Nature Preschool will be the community’s first nature preschool and nature play area. Located on 1.3 acres bordering the Nature Center’s redwood forest, the preschool will provide quality education through hands-on experience with nature. Here, students will spend most of the day outdoors. There will be play areas, but no playgrounds.  Children will be taught the building blocks of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education by playing and learning in the natural world, surrounded by nature.

The preschool will also engage parents in active learning and provide a research forum on early childhood and environmental education.

Renderings: LPA, Inc.

Projects

ENC Nature Preschool