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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Innovative design creates light-filled flex space for creative learning.

Adding dedicated space for innovation studies was a key part of Saddleback Valley USD’s modernization plan, but it came with a challenge—fitting a new building into a quad enclosed by established buildings. AMS found an innovative solution, craning custom-designed GEN7 modules over existing structures to give Portola Hills the creative learning/making space it needed. To maximize both functionality and flexibility in a 70×36 footprint, the open layout is sectioned into an innovation lab and library, each with its own entrance. Interior NanaWalls create breakout areas for private meetings and small group projects. High ceilings, Solatubes and storefront windows make a compact space feel larger, while filling the entire building with natural light and outdoor views.

  • Frosted glass NanaWalls partition space and provide a two-sided writing surface
  • Natural ventilation and safe, low-VOC materials maintain superior indoor air 
  • Sustainable, energy-saving technologies create a healthy learning environment
Client
Saddleback Valley Unified School District
Brand
GEN7
Size
2,520 SF
Project Scope
1 high-performance building
Innovation lab, library + restrooms
Status
Completed August 2019

Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Modern classroom building preserves 1920s charm of 100-year-old campus.

When site-built construction proved too costly for the master-planned Tustin High expansion, AMS teamed with TUSD to modularize the conventional plans and deliver the two-story Humanities Building at significant cost and time savings. The L-shaped elevator building captures the historic character of the 1920s campus while adding 12 spacious, energy-efficient classrooms for 21st century learning. The façade is a creative blend of old and new with ruffle face brick end walls and handmade ceramic tiles over exterior doors—factory-installed architectural enhancements that recreate details of the original school building. To reduce maintenance, AMS subbed solid steel pickets for tube steel in the custom handrails—a no-paint option that adds durability.

  • Large, dual-glazed windows with 50% tinting optimize natural light
  • High-SEER HVAC systems and low-flow fixtures save energy and water
  • Interactive and networked technologies support collaborative learning
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Custom skywalk bridges past and present in a high-performance two-story design.

A key part of Newhall School District’s modernization plan was to replace outdated portables with a state-of-the-art classroom building that supports both 21st century learning and historic preservation. AMS partnered with the District to create a solar-ready two-story design that connects two modular buildings with a skywalk—a contemporary design featuring retro aluminum trim to replicate the architectural detail of the school’s 1950s auditorium, renovated as a performing arts center. High-SEER HVAC systems, glazed low-E windows and automated lighting and occupancy sensors work with strategic upgrades, like rear-window sunshades, to provide a bright, comfortable environment that’s highly energy-efficient.

  • Wi-Fi and interactive smart boards support high-tech learning and data sharing
  • Second-story Solatubes work with auto-dimming LEDs for multi-level lighting
  • Wiring and cable pathways hidden in the skywalk is a creative cost saver
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

GEN7’s solar-ready design supports Palmdale’s clean energy initiative.

The Palmdale School District had a unique vision: to create a state-of-the-art, energy-independent facility to house a preschool bilingual learning program on the Tumbleweed Elementary School campus. To turn vision into reality, AMS installed a 120×40 GEN7 building that integrates solar panels on the front shade overhang—an energy-generating solution that works with the building’s high-efficiency systems to keep interiors comfortable during the High Desert’s wide temperature swings. Large windows and Solatube skylights make daylighting the primary light source, supplemented by sensor-controlled LED lighting for learning and play areas, when needed. Premium acoustics absorb sound, reducing distractions so learning, activity and quiet areas can operate effectively in a single building.

  • 10kW PV panels generate energy year-round, lowering electrical costs
  • Natural ventilation allows continuous circulation of fresh, filtered air
  • Direct courtyard access provides supervised indoor/outdoor learning  
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Hart High’s urban courtyard design makes smart use of shared spaces.

A symmetrical design optimizes space for Hart High’s new classroom complex, a self-contained facility with twin two-story buildings facing an interior courtyard. AMS FORM’s Exterior Corridor design features upper and lower open-concept classrooms, with shared faculty workspace and separate staff and student restrooms serving both buildings. For enhanced energy efficiency, the District upgraded to 3-phase, high SEER HVAC systems and a Sarnafil single-ply PVC cool roofing system, with aluminum sunshades above East- and South-facing windows for greater heat control. Custom architectural bump outs add dimension to durable stucco exteriors painted in school colors to create a cohesive campus.

  • Parallel layout lowers cost with one shared ADA elevator and stair core
  • Dual skywalks connect buildings for smooth flow between classrooms
  • Energy-saving Solatubes add natural light to second floor classrooms
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Duarte’s facilities modernization plan picks up STEAM.

Duarte Unified School District partnered with AMS to transition three elementary schools to K-8 campuses, adding space to launch new STEAM programs at each school. AMS created a flexible design prototype that adapts to diverse project-based programming, expediting DSA approval to deliver three STEAM campuses in just over six months. The sustainable design promotes hands-on collaborative learning with clear glass NanaWalls separating the main classrooms and sliding glass barn doors sectioning off smaller areas for individual and small group projects. The creative layout features high ceilings, natural light and a free-flowing connection to the adjoining courtyard—ideal for an arts-integrated education where creativity is part of the curriculum.      

  • Airy, open classrooms give students space to collaborate and create
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems continuously circulate fresh, filtered air
  • Large windows, Solatubes and sliding glass doors maximize daylighting 
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

AMS two-story sets the stage for success with creative flex-space for the arts.

Keppel Elementary is a Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School that embodies Southern California’s creative spirit. AMS’ two-story elevator building blends smart design with energy-efficient upgrades, integrating academics with real-world arts instruction in large, open classrooms that offer flex-space for dance, theatre, music and visual arts. Solatubes and oversized South- and East-facing windows optimize daylighting. Louvered aluminum sunshades and automated climate control work in tandem, reducing energy costs while assuring a comfortable environment for creating and performing. Custom-tinted stucco, cantilevered balconies and a decorative metal fascia and railing system add artistic touches to the clean-lined contemporary façade.

  • A cool roof, efficient gas HVAC and exterior light timers save energy   
  • Separate art lab has a kiln room specially ventilated for superior IAQ    
  • Eco-friendly restrooms have low-flow toilets and Xlerator hand dryers   
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Saving energy is as easy as ZNE at MiraCosta College.

AMS brings MiraCosta’s vision of energy independence to life, delivering cutting-edge laboratory and prep space designed to LEED Platinum standards. Run on solar power, the Zero Net Energy building features 10kW PV panels mounted on a cool roof, site-optimized to generate as much energy as the building consumes each year. Large low-E windows daylight the space, with auto-dimming LED lighting available when needed. A natural ventilation system lessens the need for air conditioning, keeping lab space comfortable while filtering out impurities. Customized inside and out, the building features wipe-clean work surfaces and lab storage inside and stone veneer wainscoting on the façade—a stylish upgrade that unifies with the campus aesthetic.

  • Renewable energy and sustainable features reduce the carbon footprint
  • Slanted overhangs optimize PV orientation for maximum energy production
  • Modern one-story building echoes the campus look and scale 
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Learning is a breeze in sustainable STEAM labs that nurture creativity.

Top of the World Elementary has always emphasized innovative education and environmental responsibility, making GEN7 classrooms an ideal fit for the school’s expanded STEAM programming, High ceilings, skylights and large low-E windows bring natural light and hilltop views into oversized learning labs flex-designed for science, language, arts and music. A cool roof and high-performance systems support LBUSD’s energy-saving initiative while ensuring each building is healthy and sustainable, connected to the environment with an outdoor learning courtyard that extends the classroom outside. Every space is warm, safe and eco-friendly, reflecting the progressive spirit of the Laguna community and inspiring creativity in its young students.

  • Highly recyclable materials are low-maintenance and toxin-free
  • High-efficiency HVAC ensures a continuous flow of fresh, clean air
  • Shade awnings and occupancy and light sensors cut operating costs
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

Renewable energy is a smart solution for L.A.’s Brentwood School.

Brentwood School is committed to making sustainability a way of life for students. The GEN7 classrooms at the school’s Academic Village are LEED Gold-certified, combining the latest technology with renewable energy to conserve power and lower the school’s environmental footprint. An ultra-tight building envelope, occupancy and light sensors, natural ventilation, large low-E view windows and Solatubes are all integral to the highly sustainable design. Roof-mounted solar panels generate enough energy to cover 100% of each classroom’s annual electricity needs, helping the building achieve Zero Net Energy—an efficiency that not only delivers ongoing savings, but will help pay back the building’s cost over its 50-year lifecycle.

  • GEN7 Academic Village is L.A.’s first Zero Net Energy school building
  • Solar-powered design reduces annual energy consumption by 70%
  • Energy Management System monitors and controls energy use in real-time
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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Portola Hills Elementary School

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Project Overview

A one-of-a-kind design is a vision of hope for the Long Beach Community.

Southern California’s new Educare Center is GEN7’s first integrated single- and two-story campus, combining classroom, office and training space in a modular complex that serves the area’s at-risk children. Initially designed as conventional construction, AMS modularized the design, mixing three-dimensional module sizes to achieve the two-story building’s cutting-edge look at a much lower CPF. Spaces are open and bright, with high-efficiency HVAC systems, low-E windows and premium acoustics. The two-story GEN7 has enclosed circulation, double-height first-floor ceilings and an ADA elevator. Three single-story buildings house 16 classrooms and a play therapy room for preschool, toddler and infant care—all opening to a shared play area.

  • Admin building has kitchen, offices, conference and resource areas
  • 25’ ceilings, multi-size windows and site-built elements are fully custom
  • Open flex-space has breakout areas for reading, music, arts and crafts
Client
Tustin Unified School District
Brand
AMS FORM
Size
13,440 SF
Project Scope
1 two-story classroom building, 12 classrooms + conference room
Status
Completed Summer 2017
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