The elementary School at the American Farm School (grades 1-6) is housed in the complex known today as the Sherrill Quadrangle. Sherrill Quadrangle was originally built in 1926 and it was used as a high-school lab. In 1995, it was renovated to meet the need for classrooms at Perrotis College. Further renovation and improvement works were required so that it could be used as an elementary school built in accordance with the latest requirements set in the Regulation of Energy Efficiency of Buildings (KENAK). The American Farm School decision makers hoped that the building would be ready for use in September 2013, and a goal was fulfilled.
The main idea was to build a School that would be functional, safe and eco-friendly for the kids as well upgraded in terms of energy saving and its environmental footprint. To achieve this goal, the building’s layout was remodeled to accommodate not only areas for several different uses (classrooms, labs, offices, assembly rooms, school nurse area, reception, service areas etc), but also the necessary material and energy saving systems (natural gas pipeline network, solar thermal collectors, photovoltaic systems, thermal and water insulation, free voc colors, and plasters). At its initial state, the building was classified into Energy Category D. Thanks to the progress of works it was reclassified as Category B, while it may be classed as Category A if photovoltaic elements are placed on the School roof (preparatory installation works have been completed). Furthermore, the surrounding area was made more attractive so there could be open space available for kids to play, to do sports and gain experience from the surrounding School area.
Sherrill considered to be suitable to house the elementary school, because it is a closed and separate building. It is of appropriate size for its intended use (1.800 m2) and allows easy access to the farm and university campuses used for experiential learning. The complex comprises four wings, all at ground level except for a two floor section. An open yard of 1.000 square meters is enclosed by the wings and is shaded by a large plane tree which serves as an ideal recreation area and gathering point.
Our team consulted the teachers about the conceptual designs for the Sherrill Quadrangle renovation; thus, the building could better serve the developmental needs of the children between the ages of 6 and 12, whilst it would meet the requirements set by the Greek Ministry of Education and the guidelines issued by the School Building Organization S.A. It is important to point out that this project was included as an action in the research project EuInnovate 2020 which promotes and investigates the innovative and entrepreneurial role of end users in the sustainability of the E.U.