Bishop O’Dowd High School’s Center for Environmental Studies (CES) is home to the school’s environmental science and engineering program. Designed to complement the Living Lab – a 4.5-acre hillside restoration site, ecological study area, and wildlife habitat at the perimeter of the campus – a new building and landscape elements tie the Living Lab to the campus core. The new academic building features two large laboratory classrooms, a faculty office and prep space, restrooms and storage. Sustainable building systems and materials – locally sourced, renewable building materials; roof-mounted photovoltaic panels for renewable power; on-site collection and treatment of storm water, and rainwater harvesting – are easily accessed to serve as teaching tools.
The roof extends well beyond the building envelope to shelter variously-sized patios accessible from the classrooms. The largest covered space functions as an outdoor classroom or a shelter for group gatherings with panoramic views of the Bay. Beyond the porch, wide steps open onto a generous amphitheater.