controls, energy efficient low-E glass,
sustainably harvested wood products, and
strategies to divert up to 95% of waste.
Low-flow systems throughout the facility
are also expected to help conserve over 1. 4
million gallons of potable water per year.
The design team worked to incorporate
elements that would help improve the students’ learning environment, including enhanced acoustical design to allow students
and teachers to hear each other more
clearly, low-VOC materials, and plenty of
sunlight. Additionally, faculty offices were
included on each of the school’s levels
to encourage more open communication
between students and teachers.
While the energy and water savings are
crucially important, Dunbar also demonstrates that LEED and other sustainable
design strategies can have a dramatic
impact on occupant behavior and productivity. After spending just one year in the
new facility, students earned the highest
standardized test scores of any school in
the city for 2014. B
Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. is leading the nation by example –
receiving LEED Platinum certification
as well as earning the highest score ever
awarded under the LEED for Schools New
The school, which was originally founded
in 1870 as the nation’s first public high
school for African-American students, scored
91 out of a possible 110 points, making it
the most sustainable LEED-certified school
in the world. Completed in 2013, the
280,000-square-foot facility serves 1,100
students and was designed by Perkins
Eastman, a design and architecture firm.
The energy efficient design at Dunbar
includes a massive 500,000 k W photovoltaic solar array that can produce enough
energy on a sunny summer day to power
every classroom light in the building for
eight hours. Additional green features
include the capitol’s biggest ground-source heat pump with 460-foot wells
placed below the school’s athletic fields,
two 20,000-gallon cisterns for stormwater
reuse, stormwater quantity and quality
D.C. High School Receives
Highest LEED Score
Renewable energy, efficient features provide sustainability boost
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DUNBAR HIGH SCHOOL used a photovoltaic array, heat pumps, and low-flow fixtures to
achieve its LEED rating.