Zero Energy

Truesdell Elementary School

District of Columbia Public SchoolsWashington, DC

DC Public Schools hired CMTA to provide MEP engineering for the modernization of Truesdell Elementary School. Currently a two-building complex, the project aims to unify the 109,000 SF campus by creating interconnected indoor and outdoor spaces designed to serve both students and the surrounding community. Upon completion, Truesdell Elementary is expected to achieve Net Zero Energy, LEED Gold, and WELL Gold certifications, aligning with the district’s ambitious clean energy goals.

The modernization project includes three core components: an extensive renovation of the existing 1920s-era building, the replacement of the existing 1960s-era addition, and the construction of a new addition to provide expanded community spaces. To create a cohesive campus, the new additions will be connected to the original building through glassy corridors, tying together the historic massing and materials with the modern design of the new structures. These connecting corridors will also create a central courtyard, providing a safe space for outdoor learning and community use.

To achieve net zero energy, CMTA incorporated several energy-efficient features, including a 111-well geothermal HVAC system, LED lighting, and a tight building envelope. With the site’s optimal solar orientation, a 622 kW solar photovoltaic array will be installed on the new addition’s sloped roof. This strategic design serves a dual purpose, maximizing photovoltaic exposure while also increasing the amount of daylight allowed in the courtyard and surrounding interior spaces.

Additionally, the building is pursuing WELL Gold certification, underscoring DCPS’s commitment to creating environments that promote health and wellness and best support student academic success.