Canyon View High School

Agua Fria Union High School District

Waddell, Arizona

Completion Date
Summer 2018

Awards & Recognition
2019 AIA Distinguished Building Award
2019 ENR Southwest Best Project Winner
2019 AZRE RED Award Finalist
2018 AZRE Projects to Know

Opening its doors in August 2018, Canyon View High School is the newest high school for the Agua Fria Union High School District. This cutting-edge high school serves as a basis of research while providing a modern classroom setting for its students. Classes have the flexibility to be held in collaborative spaces around campus in a culture that is student focused and faculty guided. Some unique elements of Canyon View High School are a technology-based library, flexible classroom spaces that encourage collaboration, and the Accelerator, a main focal point of the school which uses technology and mixed-use space to become an incubator for the art of teaching and learning!

The design is comprised of forward-thinking spaces and places that empower teachers to advance their professional skills, and students to develop critical competencies through deep learning. By gaining real-world experience, students at Canyon View High School learn skills that are in demand which provides businesses with a career-ready workforce.

This innovative high school incorporates key engineering strategies that reflect the District’s goal to create a building that “blurs the edges between teaching and learning” by making the facility a teaching tool. DLR Group capitalized on the opportunity to collaborate with this progressive school community to implement new concepts in materials and systems research. The result is a 237,000 SF high school that is unprecedented in its design that elevates learning for students in the District in the following ways:

• In the Arizona heat, thick load bearing masonry walls at the larger public volumes become an efficient thermal barrier while creating a durable and attractive exterior. The unique masonry patterns provide visual interest and human scale to the campus.

• The structural steel braced frame educational buildings form flexible academic “Forts” creating high-volumes for day-lighting and extensive shading for the outdoor space.

• Innovative research integrates a new energy material into one of the academic “Forts” with the potential to reduce energy usage by 50%. Bio-Phase Change Material has been installed.

• The “Agora” is the outdoor learning spaces defined by the space between the buildings in the center of the campus. The District’s vision for this outdoor space was to provide thermal comfort at least 75% of the occupied hours. This was an aggressive goal as temperatures in the Arizona desert may reach 115 degrees and the target was to cool it down to 85 degrees. Strategically placed PV solar shade structures and deep overhanging trusses provide ample shade moderating maximum temperatures while allowing daylighting throughout the year.

• Using buildcarbonneutral.org, we estimate that the net embodied CO2 for this project as 5,689 Metric Tons of CO2, which is equivalent to 54 lbs of CO2/sf, a reduction of 43% compared to a typical high school at 96 lbs of CO2/sf.

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