Case Study

Case Study: Sidwell Friends Middle School, Washington, D.C.

Academic Achievement: A school expansion in our nation's capitol introduces a wetland to a dense urban site.

While studying aerial photographs of the hilltop campus of Sidwell Friends Middle School, the project team recognized the campus also sits atop two watersheds, both of significant ecological value. That insight led to an integrated approach to water management as the centerpiece of a comprehensive appeal to environmental stewardship that emerged through encounters with architect William McDonough, FAIA, and educator David Orr. “We started out designing a building, which turned into a green building, and that green building ended up transforming the whole school, culturally and operationally,” says Mike Saxenian, assistant head of the school and its chief financial officer.

Published December 6, 2016