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Gloria Marshall Elementary School

Seizing green opportunities

  • 800


  • 105K+

    Square Feet

  • LEED

    Certified Gold

  • Spring, Texas

    Spring, Texas

Designing the first school in Houston to operate with geothermal heating and cooling

What started as a school re-site design became one of the greenest elementary schools in Texas—without adding any costs to the district’s capital budget. Early planning conversations led to a two-story, high-performance school, which is now reporting energy savings of over 50%.

This is the first school in Houston to use geothermal heating and cooling, and it’s certified LEED Gold. Every classroom on campus can operate with only natural light 75% of the time—even the south-facing rooms, which take advantage of daylight harvesting.

The school also includes an on-site wind turbine, 10 kilowatts of roof-mounted photovoltaic cells (which will convert sunlight directly into electricity), a butterfly garden along a walking trail, and an underground cistern that collects rainwater from the roof to flush toilets and urinals.

Trees from the existing site were reused in the building as benches, a treehouse, and conference room tables. Not only is sustainability part of the physical building, it’s also integrated into the curriculum of the school through the use of web-based, interactive learning tools.

At a Glance

  • Spring Independent School District
American School & University Architectural Portfolio, William W. Caudill Citation
TASA/TASB Awards, Caudill Award
American School & University Educational Interiors, Silver Citation
Meet Our Team

Tracy Eich, Senior Principal, Texas Design Leader

Architecture at its core is problem solving—but at its essence, it’s also a form of behavioral science, and the quality of the spaces we create affects the human spirit.
Tracy Eich Senior Principal, Texas Design Leader Read More

Tracy Eich

Senior Principal, Texas Design Leader

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