Don't Look Up, Look Down

by Douglas Carter, Principal; Davis, Smith, and Carter, Reston, Va.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 7, Pg. 57-60

Document Type: Feature article


In response to the rising cost of energy, the designers of the Terraset Elementary School, Reston, Va., buried it under 2-3 ft of earth. The resulting high thermal mass allows the building to act as an energy reservoir, storing warmth or coldness, and delaying the impact of outside temperature changes. The school will also serve as a base from which to refine conservation techniques on future schools constructed in Fairfax County, which has one of the largest public school systems on the east coast.

Subject Headings: School buildings | School (K-12) | Sustainable development | Thermal effects | Thermal power | Reservoirs | Temperature effects | Coastal environment

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