High Performance Schools

Whether public or private, we believe that schools facilities have a civic responsibility to practice stewardship. A truly sustainable school encourages conservation and restoration when it comes to the use of our financial, environmental and human resources. At VMDO, we believe it is our obligation to provide high performance buildings to the communities we serve.

High Performance Schools

The construction of a new school is a significant milestone for a community of any size. These buildings should be expected to have at least 50 year life spans, and over the course of that life, initial construction costs represent a very small fraction of overall expenditures, which include maintenance, operations, and salary costs. Healthy, high performance buildings pay significant dividends long after the construction process is over.

High performance starts with significant reductions in a building’s use of energy and water. Depending on client goals, our school designs often go beyond conservation and include opportunities to harvest and reuse resources. These approaches often include natural day-lighting, rainwater harvesting for flushing or irrigation, innovative strategies for conditioned air, and on-site production of clean electricity. By going beyond “using less,” our schools provide students and teachers with tangible examples of proactive, local solutions to our global environmental problems.

A pioneer in net-zero-energy school design, VMDO has provided educational environments that are carbon-neutral, but data-rich. As designers of environmental graphics and custom building dashboards, our schools provide tangible, age-appropriate environmental lessons, including real-time data on energy and water usage and production for use in school projects and lesson plans.

Most importantly, our schools set the stage for higher performing people. Increased ventilation and air filtration, toxic-free materials and cleaning procedures, acoustic privacy with visual openness, and abundant natural light all contribute to less absenteeism and more engagement.

The construction of a new school is a significant milestone for a community of any size. These buildings should be expected to have at least 50 year life spans, and over the course of that life, initial construction costs represent a very small fraction of overall expenditures, which include maintenance, operations, and salary costs. Healthy, high performance buildings pay significant dividends long after the construction process is over.

High performance starts with significant reductions in a building’s use of energy and water. Depending on client goals, our school designs often go beyond conservation and include opportunities to harvest and reuse resources. These approaches often include natural day-lighting, rainwater harvesting for flushing or irrigation, innovative strategies for conditioned air, and on-site production of clean electricity. By going beyond “using less,” our schools provide students and teachers with tangible examples of proactive, local solutions to our global environmental problems.

A pioneer in net-zero-energy school design, VMDO has provided educational environments that are carbon-neutral, but data-rich. As designers of environmental graphics and custom building dashboards, our schools provide tangible, age-appropriate environmental lessons, including real-time data on energy and water usage and production for use in school projects and lesson plans.

Most importantly, our schools set the stage for higher performing people. Increased ventilation and air filtration, toxic-free materials and cleaning procedures, acoustic privacy with visual openness, and abundant natural light all contribute to less absenteeism and more engagement.

Recent Work

Discovery Elementary School

Discovery Elementary School

Recognizing that students are the creators of our collective future, Discovery Elementary sets the stage…

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Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K

Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K

Innovative teaching techniques combine with a sustainable building to provide opportunities not found…

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Fauquier High School Renovation + Addition

Fauquier High School Renovation + Addition

The renovation of Fauquier High School consists of the replacement of an underperforming 1964 classroom…

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Recent Blog Posts

Net-Zero Discovery Elementary School Raises the Bar for Energy Efficiency

​This article was originally published by the Green Schools National Network about the net-zero design strategies involved in planning, designing, and…

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Building Dashboard Provides Real-Time Data at Discovery

Discovery Elementary School is the first new elementary school built in Arlington, VA in more than a decade. The goal of the PreK-5 project is to address…

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Quick Study in Efficiency

​This article was originally published by EcoBuilding Pulse and explains how Manassas Park Elementary School & Pre-K teaches students and the community…

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Resources

High Performance Schools