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Los Alamos Public Schools

Aspen Elementary School

Los Alamos, NM


The replacement of the Aspen Elementary School utilizes integrated classroom technology. The school is a culmination of the design committee’s vision with an emphasis on new high-performance design features. It offers space for both conventional and flexible teaching. The entire school is a “Teaching Tool” for the students.

Construction was phased to allow use of the building during construction. A temporary campus accommodated the displaced functions and allowed the contractor full access to the construction areas while providing students and staff safe passage to the operational building areas.

It has an Energy Star Rating of 89 and incorporates sustainable strategies such as natural daylighting with thermal massing to provide passive solar heating to reduce energy consumption by 35% or $29,000 annually.

The Vigil & Associates Design Team and the Construction-Manager-At-Risk (CMAR) utilized BIM to model the project, conduct in-house estimates, coordinate building systems and extract take-offs directly from the model. The building was analyzed to determine the best orientation, envelope, daylighting, shading, mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures and fenestration designs to provide the most effective, energy efficient learning environment.

• A dynamic educational facility created from an outdated existing facility and new additions
• Collaborative Integrated Design Process
• Student-centered, high-performance school incorporating 21st-century learning environments
• Design concept: Main Street connecting grade-level neighborhoods
• Centralized extended learning areas and breakout spaces
• Designed to LEED Silver standards
• Worked within the parameters of adequacy standards and grandfathered-in additional space to address the educational program
• The design was a culmination of the design committee’s vision combined with the local Los Alamos vernacular, taking cues from the original 1950 design

AGC Awards “Best Buildings” & AIA Architectural “Citation Award General Design” 2015

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