Project Type: LEED
New Middle and Upper Schools
Fort Washington, PA
Architect: Wallace Roberts & Todd
Founded in 1759, Germantown Academy “GA” has more than 250 years of history and traditions. Originally for boys and originally in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, GA now resides since 1965 in suburban Philadelphia as a coeducational college preparatory school for students from PreK to Grade 12.
In September 2011, a new 160,000 square foot academic building opened for the Middle School (grades 6-8) and Upper School students (grades 9-12). Metropolitan Acoustics was on the design team to provide consultation for the two academic wings and a central commons area with the main entrance, gathering spaces, library, technology center and 250-seat auditorium. The design layout maximizes natural lighting and campus views.
Metropolitan Acoustics evaluated the classroom acoustics for the core learning spaces in accordance to the LEED for Schools criteria. Our work also included completion of the LEED forms for submission to the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and to demonstrate project compliance with the LEED criteria. The efforts paid off. The project was awarded LEED Gold certification; a great honor and a testament to the project team’s commitment to sustainability. Reducing utility consumption was achieved by harvesting rain water, using large windows with exterior sunscreens to maximize opportunities for glare-free lighting of teaching spaces, using automated lighting/temperature controls, and using high-efficiency mechanical/ventilation equipment. These and other features combined to limit the building’s energy needs to less than 80% of current national energy efficiency standards.
Additionally, we evaluated the interior room acoustics and acoustical isolation details for the non-classroom spaces including the auditorium, entrance atrium and library. These spaces also required evaluation of the mechanical system installation details to ensure appropriate noise and vibration attenuation measures were achieved.