Henderson Celebrates Innovative Work at Olathe West

Olathe West High School in suburban Kansas City opened for the first day of school on Aug. 16 as the state’s only Energy Star-rated high school. Members of our Henderson Engineers and Henderson Building Solutions team were there for the dedication two days later, celebrating the region’s foremost active learning high school.

“This is the premier high school in the region, setting the bar for project-based learning and integration of AV, technology, lighting, and systems control within the learning environment,” Associate Vice President/K-12 Practice Director Doug Everhart said. “Olathe Public Schools advocated for energy-conscious design the entire way and is implementing building monitoring and trending to ensure that the facility is running optimally as designed.”

Colleagues at Henderson Building Solutions are serving as the owner’s representative for data trending, building monitoring, retro-commissioning, facility systems management, and troubleshooting for the first year of building operation with an option to extend for five years.

Our Henderson team designed all LED-based lighting systems with occupancy/time-based distributed control and daylight harvesting. We implemented an Efficient Variable Refrigerant (VRF) for classroom wings, total building systems monitoring and BAS control, rain water collection and reuse for a horticulture lab and green roof, 35KW (PV) system grid connected to offset the Green Technologies Department Program, sub-metering and a building dashboard which collects and presents energy data on common flat screens throughout the school.

Doug noted that the school is set up with 21st century collaborative learning environments throughout. The building features class neighborhoods that all have access to a media center, resource rooms, labs, and maker’s spaces. Classrooms are considered shared/collaborative space with a combination of hard and soft seating where students have the option to spill out into corridors and common areas for discussions and learning.

The school is also department-oriented for crossover collaboration on projects. The divisions include public safety/law enforcement/fire, EMT, green technologies, sciences, fine arts, and athletics.

An auditorium includes retractable seating on an upper level balcony which is subdivided to include large instructional space when the auditorium is not in use. AV/lighting systems are programmed to automatically sense the partition division and react to control the auditorium as a whole or subdivided. The auditorium features a live virtual orchestra allowing AV systems to be utilized to pipe in sound and video from a remote student orchestra housed in one of the remote music rooms rather than an orchestra pit within the auditorium during live shows.

OWHS is home to a robust AV/technology network with student-driven content and student-driven learning. The school is 1-to-1 MacBook or iPad with every student being equipped with a device. The building is set up with an infrastructure allowing students to plug in or wirelessly connect to any learning environment display to work.

With building systems integration, Olathe West is designed to allow for full integration of DDC HVAC controls, lighting controls, and building monitoring/sub-metering from a single building systems platform. This allows for trending/energy data gathering for customization of content to be displayed by students on flat screen displays throughout the building.

Doug specifically recognized the Audio-Visual, Fire & Life Safety, TechnologySecurity, and Acoustics teams that were involved throughout design of the building.

What a project. Kudos to all of our team members that worked on bringing this industry standard high school to life.

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