Front FaçadeFront Façade
Green RoofGreen Roof
Detail of Front Façade and HallwayDetail of Front Façade and Hallway
LibraryLibrary
Library and Reading AreaLibrary and Reading Area
Windrush School Master Plan and Energy-Efficient Classroom Wing
  • Merit Award in Energy + Sustainability, AIA SF
Front FaçadeGreen RoofDetail of Front Façade and HallwayLibraryLibrary and Reading Area
Project Details Back
Windrush School Master Plan and Energy-Efficient Classroom Wing
El Cerrito, CA
  • Merit Award in Energy + Sustainability, AIA SF
  • Best of Green Building, California Construction
  • Top Green Project, MyGreenPalette.com

RATCLIFF designed this innovative classroom building as one of the greenest learning spaces in Northern California, saving energy and providing a healthy learning environment for students. The new 14,000 s.f. addition provides seven new classrooms, a library, and lobby for an adjacent gymnasium.


Taking advantage of the schools bayside location, the building features naturally ventilated and cooled classrooms with operable windows and skylights. It is 97% more energy-efficient than a building of comparable size and function – which affords the school an energy savings of approximately $16,000 per year. The new classroom features a rooftop garden that combines photovoltaic panels, green planters, and skylights that decrease electric lighting demand. By employing highly insulated concrete forms, interior insulation composed of recycled blue jeans, durable window roller shades, and sustainable interior finishes such as low-VOC paint, countertops, and ceiling tiles, the new classroom wing will avoid 20 tons of carbon emissions annually.


The project received LEED® Platinum certification and is one of only four schools in the nation to have received the USGBCs highest rating. Subsequent phases of Windrush Schools master plan developed by  RATCLIFF will include a new library, performing arts space and dance classroom, additional classrooms, and related outdoor spaces.

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