Project Detail


Lady Bird Johnson Middle School

Irving, TX United States

Corgan Associates, Inc.


Project Description

When Lady Bird Johnson Middle School (LBJ) opened its doors to new students at the start of the 2011 school year it became the largest net-zero public middle school in the country and the first in the state of Texas.

The $29 million, 150,000-square-foot institution produces as much energy as it consumes through the use of efficient technologies and on-site power generation. RB 500 Roller Shades present an important part of the school’s energy-saving equation by minimizing the need for artificial lighting and managing solar heat gain to reduce loads on the school’s HVAC systems. Other energy-smart features include the installation of alternative energy solutions such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal wells.


Project Details

Lady Bird Johnson Middle School
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    150,000 sq ft
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Specified Products

Hunter Douglas Contract RB 500™ roller shades

Corgan Associates, Inc., the project’s architectural firm of record, sought to design a sustainable school that would retain net-zero status throughout its lifespan. By slashing utility bills, the district was able to free its budget for new educational initiatives.

To help achieve their goals, the architect’s incorporated daylighting into its planning and design. They wanted an efficient shading system throughout the school that would harvest natural light to reduce the electricity consumption generated by artificial lighting. The students would also benefit: research shows natural light positively affects student performance in educational settings.

“Students in learning environments that feature daylighting performed 19 to 26 percent better on standardized reading tests than students in classrooms without these features,” said Susan Smith, VP of Corgan Associates. “With access to natural light for two or more years, they score 14 percent better on all tests.”

Hunter Douglas Contract GreenScreen® Eco Fabric

The architects chose Hunter Douglas Contract’s RB 500 motorized roller shades. Given the size of several of the facility’s glass expanses, such as the segmented glass in the library’s rotunda, the torque of the 200 Whisper Q motor was ideal for its ability to lift the 19 Foot Tall fabric shades while still running at a quiet sound level equivalent to office conversation.

The system features motorized controls that allow all 33 shades in the cafeteria and library to operate through a single wall switch in each room. Sun-tracking capabilities extend the energy savings potential by maximizing shading for glare and solar heat gain. The system can also send status reports for optimal shade positioning.

Additionally, backward compatibility means that if Lady Bird Johnson Middle School ever chooses to implement total light control—with sensors that can control shades depending on light levels—the system can be easily and inexpensively upgraded without the need for an electrician.

GreenScreen Eco shading fabric is used for its complementary energy-efficient features. With 3% openness, GreenScreen Eco manages heat gain to the interior through the glass and shading without blocking out natural light, contributing to LBJ Middle School’s efforts to reduce cooling loads.

Combined, all of LBJ Middle School’s 33 motors spin together on just 28 amps. That’s less energy than required to run a standard refrigerator, making the Hunter Douglas shading system an important contributor to Lady Bird Johnson Middle School’s net-zero goals.

“The Lady Bird Johnson School’s use of RB 500 motorized roller shades contributed significantly to the creation of this incredible learning space,” said Christopher Hagen, Regional Sales Manager of Hunter Douglas Contract Window Coverings. “We hope that the environment surrounding the students sparks their creativity and raises their awareness of the benefits of an eco-friendlier school building.”



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