Olympia Regional Learning Academy


Tailored to reflect the unique personality of its students, staff, parents and families, the Olympia Regional Learning Academy is a 66,116 square-foot, two-story, wood-framed facility that provides a new home for its diverse user group of pre-school, K-12, home-school and distance learners. The design of this 21st-century learning environment incorporates a performing arts center, roof-top learning garden, and art plaza. To meet high energy efficiency requirements, and targeting Net Zero energy, Structural Insulated Panels were used to frame the outdoor garden spaces and roof, which support solar panels. Geothermal piping was used to capture heat losses and cooling requirements of the building. The project also used salvaged wood members throughout the structure from an existing Olympia School that was being replaced. This state-of-the-art school demonstrates to the students and community that new building structures and their associated technologies can use renewable resources to be environmentally responsible while meeting project budgets. A number of teaching modules are implemented throughout the school to educate the public and students about the applied systems. Setting the bar high, this building’s energy standards encourage generational thinkers to consider how buildings should be built in the future. This project received a 2016 Polished Apple Merit Award from A4LE.

photography by Pete Eckert