Head Start Headquarters
This unique building is the first Head Start facility of its kind in Wisconsin. In it's 20,000 square feet of space, it combines many uses and was built for a very strict budget. Included under one roof are general offices for Head Start programs and teacher training rooms, a Family Service Center with parent counseling and classes, and a food storage and distribution warehouse. Also included are two separate child care facilities -- four classrooms and a kitchen for 80 children for Head Start, and four additional classrooms and therapy space for 40 more children run by the Madison School District's special needs and early childhood classes.
Special features include:
• Built-in playlofts and special energy-efficient ventilation in the classrooms.
• A generously daylit 2-story atrium.
• Outdoor playspaces that were designed into "micro-climates" to provide sheltere from cold northwestern Wisconsin winds.
• A uniquely designed protected drop-off zone which allows children to walk from their bus to the front door without danger from autos.
'Green' building features include:
• Natural linoleum (rather than vinyl) in the children's spaces.
• Low-maintenance exterior materials.
• Recycled cellulose insulation.
• Natural daylighting supplemented by high-efficiency lighting at ± 0.75 installed watts per square foot -- well below comparable buildings of it's age.
High-efficiency sealed combustion heating and ventilating equipment.
• To minimize offgassing of formaldehyde and other toxins, we specified low-VOC paints and special sealant for the cabinetry.
• No-VOC release agent used in the foundation walls, because children are present.
• We even required that all carpeting be unrolled and ventilated off-site for weeks before installation, to avoid the off-gassing of potentially toxic compounds present in much commercial carpet.
Left: The main atrium utilizes natural daylighting and carefully designed, efficient artificial lighting.