Anniversary Story

Going Platinum

Ten years ago, D.C. had just one USGBC LEED Platinum certified building. We proudly added to that count with Sidwell Friends Middle School, which was not only one of the first LEED Platinum buildings in the District, but also the first K-12 school in the world to earn the designation.

The 45,000-sf addition and 30,000-sf renovation project features numerous green attributes that are used to teach students about sustainability. A semi-intensive green roof provides a hands-on, interactive classroom space and a photovoltaic system servicing five percent of the school's energy demand. Solar chimneys promote natural ventilation, and reclaimed and rapidly renewable materials were used extensively.

“Everything we used has a history. There were piles harvested from Baltimore Harbor and stones taken from an 1800s barn that both became part of the project,” said Senior Vice President Peter Lanfranchi. “Repurposed wine vats from the 1940s and stadium seating from the 1960s each took on new purposes as the exterior skin and window jambs.”

Today we have built ten more LEED Platinum projects, and incorporated green building methods into countless others. Our total LEED certified project count stands at 137, and continues to grow. Director Katie Rothenberg leads the Sustainable Construction and Corporate Responsibility team, concentrating on maintaining the HITT focus on green construction as new standards emerge.

“With the advent of green building codes and the new LEED v4, SITES, and WELL certification paths, there are now even more options in terms sustainable projects,” said Katie. “We strive to be experts in these programs, to help our Clients meet their goals—maximizing the value for building occupants and minimizing our collective impact on the environment.”