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The Heights Building

The Heights Building, formerly Wilson Secondary School, is a new multi-story, multi-program school that aims to utilize space as effectively as possible, in order to accommodate the educational needs of the growing Arlington County community.

Arlington, Virginia

Client: Phase 1: Leo A Daly & Bjarke Ingles Group Phase 2: VMDO DC Architects, PLLC

Building Size: 184,078 sf

Project Cost: $89 million

Certifications: LEED Gold

The Heights was designed to house up to 775 students. The project also involved the design of a special needs program for approximately 100 students. The building employs a unique architectural form to maximize density and open space on a tightly constrained site. Five levels of classrooms are rotated around a central pivot point, creating rooftop terraces on each level that serve as outdoor educational environments. Common spaces include the 400-seat auditorium, main gymnasium, library, reception, and cafeteria.

Interface Engineering provided MEP Engineering and Sustainable Design services for:

  • Building envelope thermal performance improvements (walls and roof).
  • Daylight responsive sensors and controls.
  • Demand responsive ventilation with CO2 sensors and controls.
  • Demand responsive interior lighting controls with occupancy sensors.
  • EnergyStar® rated school equipment.
  • Exhaust and relief air heat recovery.
  • High performance windows.
  • Light emitting diode (LED) lighting.
  • Premium efficiency motors.
  • Variable frequency drives on all three-phase motors.
  • Water cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cooling.
  • Dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) with energy recovery.

Phase 2 of the project will provide improvements to building access, accessible parking, bicycle infrastructure, and athletic facilities with a synthetic turf field.

Maximized Daylighting

Bjarke Ingles Group

Shared Recreational Spaces

Bjarke Ingles Group

Secure Drop-Off for Students

Bjarke Ingles Group
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