AIA Presents:
Location:Washington, DC
Year Built:2006
Fact:Photovoltaic array generates about 5% of the building's electricity needs.

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Sidwell Friends School
Rate: starstarstarstarstar Votes: 4

Sidwell Friends School

The master plan for the Sidwell Friends School, a pre-K through 12th-grade Quaker independent school, focuses on meeting programmatic needs for its two campuses in Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Maryland, including the unification of the campuses through coherent landscapes and enhanced pedestrian circulation.

The renovation and addition to the middle school transforms a 55-year-old facility into a school that teaches environmental responsibility by example. The 39,000 ft addition more than doubled the size of the existing building, providing modern spaces for music and art, science and computer labs, counseling, and a library while retaining and enhancing the value of the existing structure.

This project was chosen as an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project for 2007. It was submitted by KieranTimberlake Associates, LLP, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


The most green thing you can do is not build a new building but harvest the embodied energy in an existing building and repurpose it. This is a huge and somewhat under emphasized part of creating a sustainable future. I think this building, being a combination of new and renovation, is a good example of that approach.

Bill Leddy, FAIA

The water is really the big story for me on this project. They bring the building’s grey water from the building and treat it in natural gravity set trenches, then reuse it for toilet flushing. This is actually a fairly aggressive system and serves as a very powerful teaching tool for the school. It’s pushing the boundaries to show how we can do things differently and live more harmoniously with the land.

Anne Schopf, FAIA

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