Little School at Lincoln School Awarded LEED Gold certification

Little School Courtyard Exterior View
Little School Courtyard Exterior View

Project Description

Rooted in Quaker principles and dedicated to a dynamic education Lincoln School located in Providence, RI, has a highly respected early education program. This project provides additional capacity and creates indoor and outdoor spaces fully aligned with the Reggio-Emilia-influenced curriculum and Quaker values. At site scale, the LEED Gold certified, net-zero energy project improves the campus connection to the neighborhood, supports the school curriculum with biophilic interventions, and is incredibly energy efficient. The architecture reflects Quaker simplicity with light, sensory-rich, indoor and outdoor spaces. This sustainable design project has become a model for the state of Rhode Island.

kids in a classroom
Little School children enjoy their class time.

Healthy & Sustainable

To showcase and expand the school’s high-quality early education program, studioMLA Architects created a building and landscape imbued with the principles of the school’s Quaker roots and Reggio-Emilia-inspired curriculum. The design team worked hand-in-hand with the educators to weave these goals into the project on multiple levels and ensure that the built environment supported emergent curriculum goals, child autonomy, and the connection to the natural world.

When selecting materials and textures, studioMLA made sure they adhered to the Reggio-Emilia principle of considering the classroom environment as crucially important, designing the space to be beautiful and reflective of the child’s learning. Thus, natural materials frame the child-centered spaces. The materials were sourced from products with no environmental off-gassing and were verified to contain nothing potentially harmful to the health of the occupants. Numerous products and materials are the recipients of  Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs), which include environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. Additionally, the Little School has a green cleaning policy in place to reduce levels of chemical, biological, and particulate contaminants that would compromise air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems, and the environment.

The Little School is an efficient, healthy building that maximizes natural ventilation, and natural lighting while implementing renewable materials and energy. With quality views to the outdoors, the defining floor-to-ceiling operable windows introduce natural light that allows views of flora, fauna, and the sky. When nap time rolls around, windows are equipped with automatic shades.

Solar panels on the roof of the Little School.
Solar panels on the roof of the Little School.

Energy Conservation

The Little School project is a high-efficiency design integrating various energy conservation measures providing the highest energy savings. Notable contributors to cost savings include the high-performance building envelope, the high-efficiency HVAC system, abundant natural lighting, and on-site renewable solar energy.

The building has an indoor LED lighting system and utilizes renewable energy outdoors via a photovoltaic array of 100 solar panels. In addition to the solar array on the roof, light-colored roofing and paving materials strategically reduce heat island effect. Annually, the site generates roughly 128% of the electricity consumed. The Little School expansion produces zero carbon emissions.

studioMLA Architects is thrilled to join the Little School in celebrating its LEED Gold achievement!