Childcare Center, University of Southern Maine

South-facing activity spaces that open onto the outdoor play area and the warmth created by active and passive energy conservation all contribute to an ideal early childhood learning environment.  Solar collectors temper water used in the radiant floor slabs in cold months, while wind turbines naturally extract hot air, greatly reducing the demand for artificial cooling in hot weather.  Light shelves on the long glass wall control unwanted summer solar gain and bounce natural light deep into activity spaces, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Fabricated by a local boatbuilder, the mahongany blades create a warm, inviting, and an intimate scale to the space, while teaching the children about sustainability.