Horn Elementary School

Kid's reading area - Horn Elementary School
Hallway - Horn Elementary School
Horn Elementary Cafeteria
Horn Elementary Exterior
Horn Elementary Exterior
Horn Elementary Playground
  • Kid's reading area - Horn Elementary School
  • Hallway - Horn Elementary School
  • Horn Elementary Cafeteria
  • Horn Elementary Exterior
  • Horn Elementary Exterior
  • Horn Elementary Playground

A key Low-Impact Design feature and hallmark element includes the extensive landscaped bioswale that winds around the entire site.  The bioswale keeps rainwater on the site longer, allowing maximum absorption into the soil, reducing the potential for local flooding, and filtering the runoff water, thereby reducing the amount of suspended solids and contaminants frequently washed directly out of parking areas into the region’s storm water system.  During SD, the bioswale system was modeled in comparison to a conventional drainage and detention system and found to be a 10% cost savings over a conventional rainwater detention system.

Careful planning and site utilization eliminated the need for temporary classroom buildings during construction, reducing cost and disruption to the students and faculty.  The existing ball fields were used as the phasing and construction area, while the existing school continued operating normally.  Upon completion of construction, the post-war temporary buildings that had been more permanent fixtures at the school were removed to recreate the ball fields.

Multiple unique stakeholders and end users of this facility – including HISD, The City of Bellaire Parks Department, Horn Elementary’s PTO, the local Little League and neighborhood residents –  created a complex opportunity for creative, yet delicate, planning.  All needs combined in the completed design to create a learning environment that performs at a higher level than a typical HISD school.  All classrooms exceed HISD standards for use of natural light.  Water conserving plumbing fixtures and energy efficient lighting reduce the school’s consumption of resources.  Low and No-VOC materials and finishes provide a healthful learning environment for children.  FSC Certified wood ensures that building materials have been sustainably harvested. 

Bellaire, Texas

  • 85,500 ft² new construction
  • $12M construction budget
  • More than 800 linear feet of landscaped bioswale
  • Seeking LEED Certification