D.C.’s Dunbar High Becomes Greenest School in World

Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School is now one of the greenest new schools in the world. The school has recently received LEED Platinum certification. It is the highest distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School is now one of the greenest new schools in the world. The school recently received LEED Platinum certification, the highest distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Dunbar, founded in 1870, was the nation’s first public high school for African Americans. It relocated to its current site in 1917, but the 1917 building was demolished in the 1970s. The new Dunbar High School opened in 2013. It was designed by the international design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman, in association with Moody Nolan. According to Perkins Eastman, the school’s design was inspired by the 1917 building.

The state-of-the-art, 280,000-square-foot facility can accommodate 1,100 students. It features sports fields, a gym, a pool, an auditorium, a cafeteria and faculty offices.

Dunbar achieved 91 points, out of a possible 100, making it the highest-scoring school in the world certified under the USGBC’s LEED for Schools-New Construction system. Some of the green features that helped the school achieve LEED Platinum certification include a 482 kW photovoltaic array; a ground source heat pump (geothermal) system, the largest in D.C.; two 20,000-gallon cisterns that help save more than 1.4 million gallons of potable water each year; low VOC materials; enhanced acoustics for a high-performance learning environment; and plentiful daylight and views.

Photo credit: Perkins Eastman