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Artists in Motion: Enhancing Natural Ventilation at the Child Care Center at Hart Woods

The Child Care Center at Hart Woods, recognized as the first building on Penn State’s campus to achieve LEED Platinum certification, integrates Airius fans to enhance its natural ventilation system. This innovative approach not only cools the building and classrooms, saving energy, but also educates children about their environment.

Innovative Design

The center is strategically positioned to open into a grove of trees, maximizing the indoor-outdoor integration to leverage the local wooded micro-climate. Fans installed on the north side of the building draw in cooler air from the courtyard, while exhaust mechanisms on the south side facilitate effective air circulation.

Interactive Learning Environment

The natural ventilation system is partially controlled by select employees who receive notifications to open slider windows under favorable conditions. Simultaneously, a green light signals to the children, who then assist teachers in sliding panels to open the windows and activate the Airius fans.

Artistic Collaboration:

Enhancing the educational and sensory experience, colorful kite spinners, termed "animations," are installed in front of some fans. These fan-powered sculptures are crafted by the children in collaboration with Penn State’s College of Arts, fostering a connection between technology, art, and environmental stewardship.


The installation of Airius fans has significantly lowered indoor temperatures by 5° to 10°, improved ventilation, and brought the children closer to both art and nature. This setup not only reinforces the center’s commitment to sustainability but also enriches the educational experiences of its young learners.

By incorporating Airius fans into its design, the Child Care Center at Hart Woods exemplifies how architectural innovations can synergize with educational goals to create a healthy, stimulating, and environmentally aware setting for children.


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