John Lewis Elementary

Case study
K-12 Schools

John Lewis Elementary's Net Zero, Wellness-Focused Design Powers Sustainable Learning

In an approach to modernize the educational facility design and performance of their schools, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) worked with CMTA to address educational and programmatic space needs for John Lewis Elementary (formerly West Education Campus).

CMTA partnered with Perkins Eastman to deliver DCPS’s first ground-up elementary school and the district’s first triple certified building, achieving LEED Platinum, Zero Energy, and WELL Platinum certifications.

Customer Needs

In response to ambitious clean energy laws in Washington, D.C., DCPS, in conjunction with Department of General Services (DGS), sought to:

  • Design a zero-energy school on budget and on schedule
  • Prioritize occupant health and wellness
  • Create a built learning environment that provides access to building operational information within the classroom
  • Pursue ambitious sustainability goals
Key Strategies Implemented

Designed by CMTA to be highly energy-efficient, the facility produces onsite, carbon-free renewable energy in an amount sufficient to offset the school’s annual energy use with the installation of:  

  • 40% energy reduction to traditional systems;
  • 80% carbon footprint reduction;  
  • $400,000 in heating and cooling cost savings annually;  
  • less maintenance required over time;  
  • 100,000 square feet of future expansion;
  • 2-3x the traditional system life span.
Sustainability Consulting
Consulting Engineering
Program Management
Energy Solutions
Washington, D.C.
project size
88,588 SF
Year Completed
  • Zero Energy
  • LEED Platinum
  • WELL
  • 2nd Place ASHRAE International Technology Awards
Net Zero incentives

Federal Aviation Administration’s Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) grant


These high-performance designs require incorporating new philosophies, a higher level of detail, and collaboration between disciplines… CMTA has helped DCPS achieve unprecedented results while maintaining schedules and budgets and ensuring ease of operations and maintenance.

Stephen Kitterman
Project Manager, Department of General Services
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