Quinn Evans Architects is pleased to announce that Kramer Middle School in Washington, DC, has achieved LEED for Schools Platinum Certification, making it the first school renovation in the District to reach this level.

USGBC awarded the renovation a total of 81 points on their LEED Scorecard. This achievement reinforces the fact that existing buildings can be transformed into highly efficient and sustainable 21st century learning environments.

Building Design

Sustainable design is at the core of every project at Quinn Evans Architects. At Kramer Middle School, QEA committed to a LEED certification process, starting with a LEED kick-off meeting introducing the sustainability goals of the project. This process continued through the project’s three phases involving workshops with the multi-disciplined design team and DCPS to develop a sustainable strategy for both the building and the site. Both passive and active solutions where explored and all opportunities to create an energy and environmentally friendly design were pursued. The resulting strategies and solutions included a variety of features such as: 

  • Access to ample daylight and views to the outside
  • Materials and finishes that embody an environmental message, e.g. Products with recycled content or rapidly renewable materials
  • Materials that reduced harmful air contaminants
  • On-site energy production through solar panels
  • Stormwater management as an integral part of the site design

  • Increased and efficient thermal comfort
  • Increased energy saving through the use of LED lights, daylight sensors, occupancy sensors, and other technologies
  • Energy efficient mechanical and lighting systems
  • Maximizing outdoor open space
  • Native planting
  • Enhanced acoustical performance
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures

Ultimately, the design team implemented a variety of practical solutions intended to achieve high performance, and did this within the confines of an existing building. Our success at Kramer Middle School highlights the notion that through transformation, existing buildings are truly the greenest buildings. 

In addition to saving precious energy related costs; winning a LEED Platinum Level certification from the US Green Building Council is akin to winning a A+ in an environmental sciences course.

Jeff Luker, AIA, LEED AP