NeoCity Academy

  • area / size 45,998 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Little was tasked to design the first net-zero energy school in Florida with the realization of the NeoCity Academy located in Kissimmee.

    NeoCity Academy is a new 500-student, public STEM high school located on the NeoCity Campus in Osceola County, FL. It’s also the first net-zero-energy school in the state of Florida. This new urbanist development is at the epicenter of a boom in the high-tech, advanced manufacturing industry that central Florida is currently experiencing. This rapid growth coupled with the Sunshine State’s easement of regulation on solar energy production has created opportunities for the creation of new, high-performance, zero-energy facilities to educate and train the next generation workforce.

    The core stakeholder design team was given a mandate to design the new public high school within the state-mandated budget and space requirements. NeoCity Academy has been developed as a twenty-first century, Immersive Learning, STEM-focused school that will offer students 3 curriculum paths: Advanced Engineering, Biomedical, and Cyber Security. The project was designed to LEED Certified standards but did not pursue certification per school district guidelines.

    The school was designed to meet a performance goal of 76% less energy use over typical and realize a zero-energy use over the course of 12 months. The project is located in the heart of a new advanced manufacturing corridor within the NeoCity Masterplan and the school district of Osceola County has formed a partnership with UCF to evaluate STEM pedagogy for the creation of a national instruction model. The school’s high-performance design and ultra-low energy use will save an anticipated $115,000 per year on energy costs and is expected to save almost $2.7 million over 20 years in life cycle costs compared to a typical district school.

    Utilizing standard school construction with high-performance detailing, a distributed heat-pump system, and a 226kw, roof, and canopy mounted PV array, the facility can now be a designated prototype for other school districts throughout the state. This innovative new school will be a key teaching tool in support of the development and execution of its high-tech curriculum.

    Architect: Little
    Photography: Mark Herboth