From its earliest planning stages, the design of our new facility was driven by a number of guiding principles: livability for the children and staff who spend their days here, sustainability over many generations in relation to the construction materials, energy and water use, and the emphasis on renewable materials in the construction where possible.




The building communicates a mood of friendliness to its neighbors and to its community, and invites a joyful experience for the children and adults who come to use its indoor and outdoor environments.

Sustainable Landscape

Our gardens include organically and biodynamically grown fruits, herbs, and vegetables for meals and preserving. The children are engaged in every step from planting, to tending, to harvesting and cooking. Our butterfly and pollinator sanctuary is registered with Monarch Watch, a national organization devoted to protecting habitat for butterflies. Our gardens, woods, and fields provide a sanctuary for bees, butterflies, and songbirds. Equally important, the gardens are a source of renewal and healing for adults who visit them.

Water Conservation

Plumbing fixtures use significantly less water than typical fixtures, including dual flush toilets. Other conservation features include rain barrel collectors for irrigation and water reuse, as well as for the children’s play.

Energy Efficient

Each component of the building envelope (walls, R25; door, ceiling/roof, R50) achieves high levels of insulation; the building loses less than one full air exchange per hour. The building also uses strategies such as an insulated foundation to reduce thermal bridging, high-performing (triple glazed) windows, spray foam insulation to increase comfort as well as significantly reduction of heating and cooling costs.  Air-tight construction along with reliable, controlled ventilation strategies also increase comfort and reduce the size of the mechanical system.  In addition, the design includes natural day lighting to reduce electric illumination and ventilation.

Renewable Materials

The highest consideration has been taken to insure that only nontoxic materials have been used throughout construction as well as furnishing to insure the children’s healthy growth and development. In addition, when possible, construction materials have come from regional sources.

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