Sustainable Jackson Hole School District Office by Ward + Blake Architects Benefits from Low-tech Green Design Solutions

Share Article

Ward + Blake Architects of Jackson, Wyo., received special Jackson Hole energy sustainability funding to aid Teton County School District in meeting ambitious sustainability goals for its new central administration facility. The Jackson Hole architecture firm combined high-tech and low-tech green design solutions to create the model of energy efficiency.

Teton County School District Central Administration Office, the newly constructed sustainable structure designed by Jackson Hole firm Ward + Blake Architects.

Coming in at two-thirds of the average construction costs for Jackson, we are really thrilled with the high-caliber, sustainable, and low-maintenance building we were able to design.

Award-winning Jackson Hole architecture firm Ward + Blake Architects received special funding for its energy-efficient design of a new central administration facility for the Teton County School District in Jackson, Wyo. The Jackson Hole-based architects were recently named 2013 Firm of the Year by the six-state AIA Western Mountain Region, partly for their innovations in sustainable design. The new 8,600-square-foot Jackson Hole facility houses conference rooms, a large board room, and office space, and was able to save money for the school district while meeting stringent county sustainable construction standards. More images of the green design project are available here.

“Coming in at two-thirds of the average construction costs for Jackson, we are really thrilled with the high-caliber, sustainable, and low-maintenance building we were able to design,” says Ward + Blake Principal Tom Ward.

Ward + Blake Architects and the Teton County School District applied for Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project funding to help offset the cost of some of the Teton County School District Central Administration Office’s innovative sustainability features, such as the natural gas furnace, intelligent building control system, and dimming sensors. In addition to high-tech sustainable design techniques, architects relied on more low-tech solutions such as daylighting to reduce energy loads and create an enjoyable work atmosphere. By placing “window boxes” around the copious windows, the design team minimized glare from the snow below and sky above while still flooding rooms with natural light. Similarly, architects included transom windows and an eight-foot roof overhang to effectively direct daylight to interior spaces.

“So often we as architects tend to rush to the most cutting-edge design innovations to achieve energy consumption goals – even though some of the most effective (not to mention foolproof) techniques are right in front of us,” Ward says of the administration building’s combination of high-tech and low-tech green design features. “Daylighting, thermal mass, and building orientation have been used by Jackson Hole Valley residents since the first homesteaders settled here.”

The building’s light-filled interiors are clad with birch and complementing light wood finishes, making for an airy working environment. Architects selected a dark red color for the low-maintenance galvanized metal on the exterior to reduce cyclic maintenance costs while also lightening heating and cooling loads.

Ward + Blake Architects is known for drawing inspiration from the distinctive Western landscapes and historical and cultural contexts of its projects, as well as for innovative and sustainable use of materials and construction practices. A newly released monograph from ORO Editions, In the Shadows of the Tetons, showcases Ward + Blake Architects’ site-driven architecture across the American West.

Established in 1996, Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: to be provocative in thought, flexible in nature and disciplined in execution. The firm regularly earns recognition for architecture that is sensitive to its environment and successfully integrated with its surroundings. Ward + Blake creates buildings that are tactile, modern, bio-climatically responsible, honestly expressed, technologically sound and artfully crafted.

Company Information:
Based out of Jackson, Wyo., Ward + Blake Architects was recently honored as 2013 Firm of the Year by the AIA Western Mountain Region. Additional awards include 2012 International Design Awards for Architect of the Year as well as first prizes for new residential building and new renovation; 2012 Gold Award for Best Custom Home by the Dream Home Awards; 2011 AIA Wyoming Firm of the Year; and both the 2011 Gold Award and a 2011 International Design Award for Best Conceptual Home Design. For additional information, visit Ward + Blake online at

Media Contacts:
Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, darla(at)wordenpr(dot)com, 307.734.5335

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Darla Worden
+1 307.734.5335
Email >