Discovery Elementary School

Arlington County, VA

Bowman provided civil engineering, surveying, scanning and construction administration services for this 98,000 sq. ft. building, in partnership with VMDO Architects. Located in Arlington County, Virginia, the project was certified as a LEED Gold Building and Living Building Zero Energy in 2018.

To meet the needs of this project, Bowman employed this innovative mindset to incorporate certain features that will ensure the location’s long-term sustainability and success. Counted among such features are the new synthetic turf soccer fields with infrastructure included for future lighting, as well as the new baseball diamond and basketball court.

Another challenge facing the property was that the location fell within a sub-watershed which has documented stormwater issues. As a result, the new school required significant water quality and quantity facilities, such as rain gardens, bio-swales and other low-impact-design techniques. Bowman focused on a low-impact design that met and exceeded jurisdiction requirements but that also catered to users and the client. By making these features visible and instructional in nature, Bowman catered to the needs of a school and created facilities that can be used as learning environments to teach students about rainwater and various environmental issues. These types of techniques and technologies, which don’t significantly change the characteristics of the land and allow water to be infiltrated back into streams are just elements of Bowman’s efforts to stay on the forefront of design and accountability.

As the largest zero-energy school in the country, Discovery Elementary School won awards, including the 2016 Project Distinction Award from the Association of Learning Environments, the 2017 Special Jury Recognition Award from the Virginia Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments, the 2017 Platinum Design Award from the Virginia School Boards Association, the 2017 Presidential Citation for Sustainability from AIA DC and the 2018 First Place Academic Project from the Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards.