When the Town of Newtown, Connecticut elected to replace the existing Sandy Hook Elementary School with a vibrant, nurturing, and community-oriented new building, they wanted a design that would be inclusive and healing, meaningfully incorporating input from those who will use it. The new school, designed by Svigals + Partners, LLP and completed in 2016, encompasses 86,800 square feet and addresses community needs ranging from security to artistic expression. As building enclosure design consultant for the project, Hoffmann Architects + Engineers provided design review for the innovative educational facility.
A scenic small town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Newtown values ecology as part of the community identity, and Sandy Hook Elementary, situated on a wooded site, greets students with a curving plan that evokes welcoming arms, while relief sculptures of birds in flight and floating leaves incorporate local flora and fauna into the tranquil design. The more than 500 students are distributed among three classroom wings, which extend like fingers of an open hand. Overlooking the central courtyard, “treehouse” alcoves create intimate learning areas and reinforce a connection with nature. The building is designed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
Hoffmann reviewed contract document drawings and specifications and provided design review for foundation waterproofing, wall assemblies, curtain wall and window systems, and roofing and flashing details. Our architects and engineers created specifications and checklists for building enclosure systems, including testing requirements, mock-up review, and field verification.
As part of the project team, Hoffmann Architects + Engineers collaborated with the design and construction management firms to bring the vision of the state-of-the-art learning environment into reality. By supporting Svigals + Partners in developing watertight, durable, high-performance details for the building enclosure, Hoffmann helped to provide the community of Sandy Hook with a school building that is comfortable and sustainable.