Green Features

Anatomy of a Healthy Building: Construction Materials and Description

The da Vinci School is a nonprofit organization started in 1987 under the name Texas Foundation for Educational Advancement, Inc. Now in our 24th year of operation, The da Vinci School moved to our newly constructed campus in October, 2010.  This facility was built to be a model healthy and environmentally sustainable facility with a focus on our youngest citizens – children from birth to age seven.

Designed with the small child in mind, the materials chosen are as nontoxic and durable as possible to avoid the exposures that are of particular concern given the way tiny children interact with their world. They live close to the ground, they breathe in and ingest contaminants and, once exposed, have these toxic substances in their bodies for a longer time frame and at a time when their bodies are developing.

The campus is registered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification with the USGBC (United States Green Building Council). We anticipate receiving Gold certification.

If you are interested in a facility tour, please send your name, email address and telephone number (optional) to We will contact you with possible tour dates and times. Please indicate in your email if you are interested in other educational programs for parents, children or health-related topics.

For more information about our campus, go to for videos and interviews of materials and construction processes. 

100% White Steel Roof – (most heat reflective of all roofing choices)
Hardie-Siding – Fiber cement, dimensionally stable siding; insect and fire safe.
Pervious pavement in parking lot – Bomanite Pervious Concrete Systems
DuPont™ Tyvek® Thermowrap™ – House wrap with more perms + radiant barrier over sheathing

Sealed concrete corridors – Ardex Floor sealer on concrete (penetrates concrete)
No fly ash concrete
Natural cork flooring in all classrooms – Wicanders® floating floor system

Pest Prevention Control
Termimesh – permanent termite prevention – saved 2,500 gal of termiticide by ABC Pest Control
Bora-Care® – a safe boric acid product sprayed on all CDX sheathing up to the window frames to inhibit insects – done by Sol Pest Control
Icynene Foam Insulation – environmentally safe, tight building
Formaldehyde free fiberglass insulation – R-11 & R-30 (Our roof insulation is approx. R-60)

Unique Features
Storm resistant corridor; 1/8” sheet metal lining hall, 3/4” CDX plywood under drywall
Optimized framing throughout using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) lumber 6” walls
Open web wood trusses – FSC lumber; no OSB (Pro Build)
Millwork made with Aerris® MDF with laminate face; classroom cubbies from PureBond® plywood
CDX plywood sheathing…No Oriented Strand Board (OSB) anywhere in the campus
Zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) wood clear coat finish – EcoProCote Eco-Tuff™ High Traffic Flex Clear Wood Finish

Solar/Wind/Energy Devices & Uses
Solar Panels – generate +22% of our energy needs – donated by Green Mountain Energy’s Big Texas Sun Club and Gridpoint/SRE (array installer)
Solar hot water system – Gridpoint/SRE
AirVVin wind turbines for wind energy production

Rainwater harvesting system – 26,000 gal for landscape irrigation (Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Inc.)
Natural landscape; native trees and plants; 11 existing trees relocated on the property
Environmentally-conscious playground equipment; wood chip fall zone; no recycled tires
Trees throughout campus including parking areas to reduce heat island effect
3000 gal cistern for children’s garden – supplies garden water

Indoor Features
Paperless Sheetrock
Low-E glass, operable windows; natural daylight throughout - Jeld-Wen, Inc.
Clerestory windows that open for cross ventilation in every room
Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) systems to bring in fresh outside air
Filtered water throughout – Aquasana®
No fragrances in any products; green cleaning products only

Granite countertops – Sigma Marble Granite & Tile

Energy Saving Uses/Appliances
Zoned HVAC, Programmable Thermostats
Occupancy/motion sensors for lighting fixtures; low water toilets; faucets with sensors
Induction burners for cooking – most energy efficient of all cooking systems
Shielded Electrical Panels to block EMFs (electro-magnetic fields) – mushield  -  LessEMF

Zero VOC base paint; enviro-toner tints (3g/l voc) – Sherwin-Williams Harmony®
Light exterior paint color to reflect heat; light interior paint colors to reflect light
Sky blue color on porch overhangs to discourage wasps
Sky blue interior ceiling colors – soothing to eyes and feels like outdoors

Comments are closed.