Thomas & Hutton is a sub-consultant on the design/build team to FirstFloor Energy Positive for five new energy positive, high performance schools in Horry County, SC. Energy positive means the buildings create more energy than they use on an annual basis and savings are projected to increase over their lifetime of the buildings. High performance means that all elements of the building are optimized for an extended life cycle, including environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, and productivity.
Thomas & Hutton led the site design for the various school sites, working closely with the design/build team to ensure that project objectives were met. From a site design perspective, the primary goals include providing for safe and efficient vehicular circulation, supporting the energy goals of the projects, and complimenting the architectural aesthetic of the buildings, while maintaining cohesion across the various school sites. To support the energy goals of the project, Thomas & Hutton worked with the team to orient the buildings on each site to effect solar gain for climate control in the buildings. Trees and shrubs were strategically placed to shade the building in summer and let in warming sunlight in the winter months. Services include providing site planning, civil design, preliminary topographic and boundary surveys, landscape architecture, and preparing record drawings. Thomas & Hutton was also the surveyor for site construction, which included building columns, anchor bolts, piles, building structures, storm, sewer, solar fields, and infrastructure.
Horry County Energy Positive Schools received a 2019 ACEC National Engineering Excellence Awards National Award of Recognition, as well as an ACEC South Carolina Palmetto Award, the highest honor in the state.