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Langston Hughes Elementary School, Chicago

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Award of Merit - K-12 Education

The new one-story Langston Hughes Elementary School, a replacement school for 900 students, is the first Chicago public school to be built based on the principles of “universal design.”

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Universal design is the design of products and environments to make them usable by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialized design, according to the project team involved with the building.

Langston Hughes Elementary School is a 103,000-sq-ft elementary school that was targeted to meet a special needs requirement of 20 percent of the 840 pre-K through 8th grade students.

The school includes 30 classrooms with a dining hall, library and gymnasium.

During the project’s design charrette, HMS Engineers was challenged with requirements for high efficiency HVAC and electrical systems that met the LEED energy efficiency targets and the new Chicago Public Schools operational goals.

There were several different combinations of systems that eliminated one of two trades and still provided cost effective high performance.

A dual-duct, dual-fan system was chosen because it eliminated the terminal box heating piping and associated hot water heating piping distribution system components. It also enhanced the indoor air quality, since the reheat is accomplished through blending hot air with cold air in lieu of adding heat through hot water coils to the cold air.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Chicago Public Schools & Public Building Commission
GC: Sollitt-Oakley Joint Venture, Chicago
CM: The Rise Group, Chicago
Architect: Terra Engineering, Chicago
Civil Engineer: Terra Engineering, Chicago
Structural Engineer: SMNG-A Architects Ltd., Chicago
MEP Engineer: Matrix Engineering Corp., Chicago


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