Ratcliff Architecture News

Windrush School One of Only Four Schools Nationwide and First in El Cerrito to Earn a LEED�® Platinum Rating

RATCLIFF Designs Citys First Sustainable Structure; Students Incorporate Building into Environmental Lessons Windrush School and the architectural firm RATCLIFF are pleased to announce that the schools new classroom addition earned the highest rating available from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): LEED Platinum. Windrush School is only the fourth school in the nation and the first building in the City of El Cerrito to achieve this LEED rating, which is indicative of its highly energy-efficient structural design.

Taking advantage of Windrush Schools bayside location, RATCLIFF incorporated into the buildings design an insulated concrete building shell, naturally ventilated and cooled classrooms with radiant floor heat, and photovoltaic panels. These energy-efficient design features create projected annual energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions of 50% over a comparable structure. Windrushs innovative classroom building provides a high-performance and healthy learning environment for the K-8 student population and adds seven new classrooms, a library, and lobby for an adjacent gymnasium to the campus.

At Windrush School, sustainability is the rule.

  • Students have ability to integrate studies of the new classroom wing in their math, science, and humanities curriculum.
  • The new classroom addition is used for community meetings and makes living green a tangible lesson for the entire City of El Cerrito.
  • Students and their families receive local organic produce through the schools Farm Stand program.

“Building green with a sense of purpose and consciousness underscores our commitment to Progressive Education, where students learn to become good citizens, engaged leaders, and community members who care about the planet and its people, said Ilana Kaufman, head of Windrush School. Our Platinum LEED certification is an achievement to be celebrated and enjoyed not only by the Windrush community, but also by the City of El Cerrito, the Bay Area, and the independent school community.

“As one of only four schools in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum, Windrush School shows that nonprofits with nimble governance structures can work outside the box to accomplish such a laudable achievement,” said Brian Feagans, NCARB, LEED AP, RATCLIFF project designer. The school teaches its students that if you shoot for the stars, you truly can achieve your goals.