flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

D.C.'s Dunbar High School is world's highest-scoring LEED school, earns 91% of base credits

K-12 Schools

D.C.'s Dunbar High School is world's highest-scoring LEED school, earns 91% of base credits

The 280,000-sf school achieved 91 points, out of 100 base points possible for LEED.


By Perkins Eastman | February 26, 2015
D.C.'s Dunbar High School is world's highest-scoring LEED school, earns 91% of base credits

Natural light floods the interior spaces. All photos: copyright Joseph Romeo

Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., has been certified LEED Platinum, the highest distinction, by the U.S. Green Building Council. Designed Perkins Eastman in association with Moody•Nolan, the 280,000-sf school achieved 91 points, out of 100 base points possible for LEED, making it the highest-scoring school in the world certified under USGBC’s LEED for Schools-New Construction system. The new school building welcomed its first students in 2013.

Located blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the high school provides a high-performance 21st-century learning environment designed to catalyze the renewal of one of our most historic schools. The nation’s first public high school for African Americans, Dunbar was originally founded in 1870 and relocated to the current site in 1917. Demolished in the 1970s, the 1917 building was a particular point of civic pride in the community, representing the values and dreams of the students, their families, and the larger community, and their aspirations for notable achievement.

The school campus raises the bar for sustainable, high-performance school design in the District and for the students’ environmental stewardship. Its more prominent sustainable design attributes include:

  • 482 kW photovoltaic array, provided through Washington, D.C.’s first power purchase agreement, that generates enough energy on a sunny summer day to power all classroom lights for eight hours
  • Washington, D.C.’s largest ground-source heat pump system below Dunbar’s athletic field, with wells extending 460 feet deep
  • The reopening of O Street as a sustainable model that features 6,152 sf of rain gardens able to handle a 1.2-inch storm event
  • Pervasive natural light resulting from proper orientation and shading of the building
  • Two 20,000-gallon cisterns and low-flow fixtures help save over 1,400,000 gallons of potable water/year
  • Enhanced acoustics that help create a high-performance learning environment.

“Dunbar’s LEED Platinum achievement is a testament to the power of vision and dedication to create a truly sustainable high-performance learning environment,” says Sean O’Donnell AIA, LEED AP, Principal-in-Charge of the project and the leader of Perkins Eastman’s K-12 practice area. “In the same year that the school has been certified Platinum, it has also posted the highest standardized test score gains in the entire city—this after only one year in the building. I believe that innovative design has created a synergy with the school’s educational transformation initiatives that is resulting in more successful educational outcomes for the students.”

The school was designed in close collaboration with the Department of General Services, the District of Columbia Public Schools, the school and its alumni, the community, and the design and construction team, which was a joint venture between Perkins Eastman, Setty Associates International, and SK&A Structural Engineers in association with Moody•Nolan. The team also includes Smoot/Gilbane Construction.

 

Related Stories

K-12 Schools | Jul 1, 2024

New guidelines for securing schools and community spaces released by the Door Security and Safety Foundation

The Door Security and Safety Foundation (DSSF), in collaboration with Door and Hardware Institute (DHI), recently released of “Are Your Door Openings Secure?.” The document provides guidelines to equip school administrators, building management personnel, and community leaders with a clear roadmap to create a secure and safe environment. 

Senior Living Design | Jun 28, 2024

The country’s largest retirement community expands with educational facilities

The project will include a high school, a K-8 school, and an Early Learning Center aimed at serving the children of residents who work in qualified businesses within The Villages.

K-12 Schools | May 30, 2024

Inclusive design strategies to transform learning spaces

Students with disabilities and those experiencing mental health and behavioral conditions represent a group of the most vulnerable students at risk for failing to connect educationally and socially. Educators and school districts are struggling to accommodate all of these nuanced and, at times, overlapping conditions.

K-12 Schools | May 15, 2024

A new Alabama high school supports hands-on, collaborative, and diverse learning

In Gulf Shores, a city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, a new $137 million high school broke ground in late April and is expected to open in the fall of 2026. Designed by DLR Group and Goodwyn Mills Cawood, the 287,000-sf Gulf Shores High School will offer cutting-edge facilities and hands-on learning opportunities.

K-12 Schools | May 13, 2024

S.M.A.R.T. campus combines 3 schools on one site

From the start of the design process for Santa Clara Unified School District’s new preK-12 campus, discussions moved beyond brick-and-mortar to focus on envisioning the future of education in Silicon Valley.

K-12 Schools | May 7, 2024

World's first K-12 school to achieve both LEED for Schools Platinum and WELL Platinum

A new K-12 school in Washington, D.C., is the first school in the world to achieve both LEED for Schools Platinum and WELL Platinum, according to its architect, Perkins Eastman. The John Lewis Elementary School is also the first school in the District of Columbia designed to achieve net-zero energy (NZE). 

Biophilic Design | May 6, 2024

The benefits of biophilic design in the built environment

Biophilic design in the built environment supports the health and wellbeing of individuals, as they spend most of their time indoors.

K-12 Schools | Apr 30, 2024

Fully electric Oregon elementary school aims for resilience with microgrid design

The River Grove Elementary School in Oregon was designed for net-zero carbon and resiliency to seismic events, storms, and wildfire. The roughly 82,000-sf school in a Portland suburb will feature a microgrid—a small-scale power grid that operates independently from the area’s electric grid. 

K-12 Schools | Apr 29, 2024

Tomorrow's classrooms: Designing schools for the digital age

In a world where technology’s rapid pace has reshaped how we live, work, and communicate, it should be no surprise that it’s also changing the PreK-12 education landscape.

School Construction | Apr 22, 2024

A school district in Utah aggressively moves forward on modernizing its schools

Two new high schools manifest nuanced design differences.

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category



K-12 Schools

Inclusive design strategies to transform learning spaces

Students with disabilities and those experiencing mental health and behavioral conditions represent a group of the most vulnerable students at risk for failing to connect educationally and socially. Educators and school districts are struggling to accommodate all of these nuanced and, at times, overlapping conditions.


halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021