Sidwell Friends was the first LEED Platinum-rated K-12 school building in the country and first LEED Platinum-rated building in Washington, DC. VIKA provided engineering and surveying services for several innovative Sidwell Friends infrastructure and facility projects.

VIKA’s services for the renovation and addition to the Middle School helped transform the original 55-year-old, 33,000 SF facility into a state-of-the-art 3-story, 72,000 SF sustainable teaching environment for students.

Systems, including stormwater management, waste-water recycling and solar electricity generation, which typically are hidden from users, are exposed and allow students to observe their interrelationship with the local habitat, natural resources, and built-environment.

VIKA’s innovative stormwater management systems included both an on-site constructed wetland treats wastewater and green roof and outside bio-retention that reduces stormwater runoff and improves the quality of infiltrated runoff. The constructed wetlands use less energy to process waste than traditional municipal systems, while also creating habitats for plant and animal life. After first flowing through a treatment tank to remove solids, the wastewater is treated using biological processes.  These constructed wetlands treat wastewater to the same standards as the municipal system but due to health codes, the water can be reused only in commodes. The green roof allows rain to pass though it and removes pollutants, creating cleaner water for reuse or overflow discharge into municipal storm drains.

VIKA and Sidwell Friends were awarded the 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers National Capitol Section Sustainability Award for the middle school project.  The award recognizes sustainable development of infrastructure, the built-environment, and the conservation of natural resources and is given to projects that promote sustainable development, and that adopt a long-term view cognizant of environmental, social, and economic implications.

In addition, Sidwell Friends Middle School was awarded the American Institute of Architects 2007 Top 10 Green Project, Committee of the Environment and their 2007 Award for Excellence, National Committee for Architecture Education.

Sidwell Friends has a long-term master plan focused on efficient programmatic use of space and building resources, coherent landscapes, and enhanced pedestrian circulation. The master plan for the schools focuses on meeting programmatic needs for its two campuses, including unification of the campuses through coherent landscapes and enhanced pedestrian circulation.

VIKA’s other work on Sidwell Friends campuses includes:

  • PARKING GARAGE AND UPPER SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS: Provided surveying and civil engineering services for improvements.
  • ATHLETICS FACILITY PROGRAM: Provided surveying and civil engineering services for design and construction of new underground gymnasium, with the replacement of a new synthetic turf field and track above. The athletics facility design included a 75,000 SF, three-level underground facility, featuring a four-court gymnasium; retractable bleacher seating for 600; a fitness facility; a wrestling room; coaches offices; and, lockers for students, faculty and officials. The school also elected to retain and reuse the existing athletic facilities.
  • QUAKER MEETINGHOUSE AND ART CENTER RENOVATIONS: Provided surveying and civil engineering services for renovation of existing Arts Center and the transformation of the 1950’s Kenworthy Gym into the new Quaker Meetinghouse and Kogod Arts Center.
  • TENNIS COURTS/SITE IMPROVEMENTS: Provided engineering, surveying, and civil plans for the addition of the 4th tennis court, renovation of three existing tennis courts, adjacent baseball field modifications, public space improvements along Wisconsin Avenue adjacent to tennis courts, Zartman Circle improvements, and site improvements.
  • PARKING GARAGE AND UPPER SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS: Provided surveying and civil engineering services for improvements.