Early Child Development Center 
Principal Financial
Des Moines, Iowa

Challenge: Create a childcare facility for Principal Financial employees that provides a safe yet playful environment in the middle of busy downtown Des Moines and also incorporate sustainable design features to achieve LEED® certification.

SVPA Solution: This 32,000 s.f. center provides separate areas for infant through pre-kindergarten age. Floor to ceiling windows in all areas provide views to the outdoors as well as natural daylight. Common/play areas are featured throughout both floors, and direct access to outdoor play areas is provided on the first floor. Bright colors and "child-friendly" furnishings are used throughout the facility. The project was awarded LEED® Gold certification.

Sustainable Design Techniques: The building skin consists of locally-produced insulated precast concrete, a glass and glazing system with high recycled content and a white roofing system which reduces the "heat island" effect of the building. Interior finishes also include high recycled content and the reception desk and lobby area finishes incorporate several new sustainable products such as Paperstone countertop, wheat board, sunflower board and cork flooring. Corner glazing was incorporated to increase daylighting and views in the classrooms, and much of the glazing is floor-to-ceiling, which increases views for children of all sizes. A building automation system will be installed to provide energy management functions, such as occupied and unoccupied schedules and optimum start schedules.

Site sustainable design features include large amounts of green space. Large numbers of shrubs and herbaceous materials sequester atmospheric carbon. Re-contouring of highly sloped impervious surfaces significantly reduces stormwater runoff quantity and quality.

Completion Date: August 2008

Project Size: 32,000 s.f.

Type of Delivery: Negotiated Fast Track

Project Team:

  • Steve Gray, AIA, IIDA
  • Ron Paskach, AIA, LEED AP
  • Sara Herman, IIDA, LEED AP
  • Kent Zarley, ASLA
  • KJWW Engineering Consultants
  • Michael Bradnan & Associates
  • Wells Janousek Architects
  • The Weitz Company

Became an SVPA client in: 1993

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