Fales Elementary Wins BE+ Green Building of the Year!


HMFH’s Annie E. Fales Elementary School won Green Building of the Year at the 2023 Built Environment Plus (BE+) Green Building Showcase—an annual awards program recognizing projects for excellence in healthy, sustainable, and regenerative design.

The Green Building of the Year award honors the most impressive, holistically sustainable project, determined by a panel of industry peers. This marks the second consecutive year that an HMFH project received the Green Building of the Year award, a testament to our continued commitment to designing sustainable learning environments that benefit entire communities.

The Annie E. Fales Elementary School sets a precedent for energy-efficient design as New England’s first net-positive energy public school. On track to achieve LEED Gold, the all-electric facility generates 11.6% more energy than it uses with an extensive rooftop PV array and geothermal well field.

Project goals rooted in sustainability and environmental stewardship drove the design, which exceeds ambitious energy targets and connects students to their local environment.

  • A sculptural, sawtooth roof design maximizes space for a 25,000 sf PV array and creates north-facing clerestories that fill the interiors with natural light
  • Forty 600-foot-deep geothermal wells supply heating and cooling to the building
  • Strategic siting on a steeply sloped site and a well-insulated exterior envelope minimizes heat loss and gain
  • Whimsical environmental graphics depict the school mascot (Annie the Hedgehog) traveling through local ecosystems to inspire environmental stewardship at the elementary level

“It’s great to see energy positive performance in a publicly funded school project. The focus on connecting kids to nature will reap huge benefits for the students and teachers.”

Jury Comments | Built Environment Plus