Did You Know? - Science Building

Did You Know . . .


Science Building receives LEED Certification

Did you know that the GISW science building received one of the highest accolades in the building industry, the LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council?

The certification recognized the building as a unique environmentally friendly and ecologically sound structure. The design’s special attention to water management--including rainwater runoff with green roof a screened façade, water conservation, and stormwater retention basins—and innovative lighting that accompany state-of the-art equipment was especially acknowledged.

The architectural firm of Geier Brown Renfrow of Alexandria, VA, designed the new science building with classrooms and laboratories for chemistry, physics, biology, and general-science classes. As the architects pointed out, “The building synthesizes the school’s science program with the tangible and quantifiable building technology by embracing light, thermodynamics, acoustics, and environmental and hydrological systems as core design parameters.”

An award ceremony took place in May 2013 when the LEED plaque was unveiled by the Head of School and members of the Board of the German School Society. In attendance were the principal architects, Phillip Renfrow and Joseph McCoy, and members of the School community.

On March 3, 2011, the entire GISW faculty helped move the scientific collections from the old building to their new home, so that the architectural and educational “lighthouse” to science was able to open for classes later in the month. In 2016, a WeatherBug station was installed to monitor local weather, and now the building serves as the center of the comprehensive American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and German MINT (Mathematics, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften, Technik) science programs engaging both GISW students and teachers.

Finally, true to the German architectural tradition of commissioning a work to celebrate the opening of a new school building, Charles Andrade’s lobby mural, inspired by Wolfgang von Goethe’s Farbenlehre, complements this beautiful eco-friendly building by merging art and science.

Photos: 1: LEED Gold-Certification plaque. 2 & 3: Science building at dusk after ceremony in 2013. 4: Presentation of the LEED plaque (from left to right: Joe McCoy & Phillip Renfrow, the GBR architects; Wolfgang Losert, Member of the Board; and Waldemar Gries, GISW Principal). 5: Lobby of the new science building with plaque (far left) and Andrade’s mural (far right). 6 & 7: the GISW faculty help move the science collections from the old building to the new one (March 2011). 8: Charles Andrade with scaffolding while working on the lobby mural (February 2011).


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