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Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C., USA

What is the LEED Certification?

Sidwell Friends School in Washington (Bethesda, Maryland) is a campus of Quaker private schools, founded in 1883 by Thomas Sidwell. Quakers, or Friends, are members of a family of religious movements which collectively are known as the Religious Society of Friends.

One of the faculties of the School - the Middle School building has got LEED Platinum certification. In September 2006 this faculty and students returned to a newly renovated building with an addition that almost doubled the size of the original 50-year-old building. Built by the design of KieranTimberlake Associates, the new Middle School Faculty building features thermal chimney (or solar chimney - natural ventilation system using convection of air heated by passive solar energy), efficient use of water and electricity (90% reduced water use and 60% less energy demand), PV solar panels on the roof and a special wastewater recycling system which filters 3000 gallons of water a day, and optimal use of daylight. Also green roof and a rain garden were added to the campus. Some sources mention construction cost $28, 5 million (main contractor - Hitt Contracting Inc). The 3-storey building is intended for about 350 students.

While creating the environmentally friendly education center the designing team also took into consideration a spiritual aspect of the Quaker schools – i.e. concentration on the “inner light” (Quakerism) of a person.

Interesting facts:
♦Sidwell Friends School is a highly selective school and describes as “the Harvard of Washington's private schools”. This school has educated children of many notable people. For example both of US President Barack Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden's grandchildren attend the school (2013).

By Astghik Atabekyan,



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