The Nueva School
The Nueva School at Bay Meadows, San Mateo, CA
The Vision

Learn by doing, learn by care is the driving force behind the culture of the Nueva School. The private school, founded in 1967, develops and nurtures gifted children to maximize their potential. They engage students using project-based and social-emotional learning, tailored the needs of each student.

Nueva School started as a pre-K through middle school and in 2014 expanded to a second campus to house its high school program. The new campus in San Mateo provided the opportunity to approach secondary education with a greater connection to community. According to the school’s website, the San Mateo campus was, “designed to use 65% less energy than a typical high school,” and a “transit-oriented campus . . . conceived as a ‘living laboratory’ that will inspire . . .”

The architectural design of the San Mateo campus incorporated many custom sunshade products that provided functional thermal reduction while captivating the attention of all who see it.

The Airolite Look…

The design of sun control products from Airolite emphasizes reducing heat transfer while still permitting natural lighting. The sun control products for the Nueva School all were custom designed and included origami-shaped sunscreens for smaller windows and sun shades having dimensions up to 25’ 4” wide by 27’ 4”. A critical requirement for the large sun shades was the ability to install easily. Airolite products are designed for easy installation; however the sheer size of the sun shades demanded additional engineering to minimize the labor needed for field installation. Working with the contractors, Airolite engineers developed a plan to build and deliver the larger sun shades in several sections instead of assembling individual pieces on-site. This planning resulted in field labor savings of more than 50%.

Attaching the larger sun shades to the building also required a non-standard approach to ensure these products could stand up to the point load and wind loads. In place of traditional methods, engineers developed a process to attach the sun shades using brackets that went into the wall structure prior to the window system. The brackets attached to steel plates providing the necessary support to hold each sun shade in place.

Aesthetics also were important to the project. Architects and school leaders wanted to stimulate the young minds of the students, making it important that every aspect of the facility achieved this goal. All Airolite sun control products attached to the Nueva School had to match exact primary and secondary colors specified.

That Works

The San Mateo campus of the Nueva School opened in 2014 as a non-traditional approach to secondary education. The campus achieved LEED Gold certification, meeting its goal of using up to 65% less energy.

Airolite custom sun control products assisted in helping the school achieve its LEED certification. The sun shades prevented heat transfer from sun glare yet allowed light and air from San Francisco Bay to flow in the windows unobstructed. Airolite offers custom solutions regardless of the size of the product required.


  • Architects:

    LMS Architects, San Francisco, CA

  • Airolite Representative:

    Rowe Fenestration, Inc., Sacramento, CA