On November 18, AIA Chesapeake Bay recognized Crofton High School with both an Honor Award, the highest level of distinction, and a Sustainable Design Award for its response to the ten measures within the AIA Framework for Design Excellence during their annual design awards ceremony.
Designed in collaboration with Anne Arundel County Public Schools to engage the school’s site, curriculum, students, and greater community, the new Crofton High School forges connections, inspires intellectual and personal growth, and reflects the school system’s commitment to responsible citizenship. Thoughtfully integrated into the site to preserve and capitalize on the woodland environment, the building offers expansive views from uplifting learning and gathering spaces flooded with natural light. The massing embraces the topography to minimize both site impact and construction costs and creates outdoor spaces to expand learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Inside, the building offers safe, equitable, and engaging environments in which to learn, work, and thrive. Flexibility drives the organization, supporting the full range of learning and instructional styles and fostering collaboration at and across grade levels and subject areas.
Thank you so much for your dedication to create such a thoughtful and inspiring place to learn. We benefit from it every day and are so grateful to be here.
—Rockel Houchens, Crofton High School Teacher
In choosing the recipients of the awards for sustainable design, the jury evaluated how well the design incorporated the ten measures of the Framework for Design Excellence—a roadmap to create a more healthy, sustainable, and equitable built environment—to demonstrate the power of design. At Crofton, sustainable design features integrate with the school’s learning goals, conserve resources, minimize waste, support the site’s ecosystem, and promote occupant well-being. Notable features of the LEED Silver facility include:
- Ninety percent of classrooms and 72% of all occupied spaces have direct views of the outdoors.
- A custom organic frit pattern reminiscent of leaves falling to the group reduces solar heat gain.
- Traditional circulation spaces such as stairs and corridors were converted into adaptable collaboration and teaching areas without adding square footage to the design.
- Integrating the building with the topography minimized disturbance to the forested site.
- Eighty percent of the post-developed site supports vegetation, including native plants that attract wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and beneficial insects.
- A 36% reduction in potable water use and reduction in outdoor water usage with native, drought-resistant plants and landscaping.
- Seventy-five percent of stormwater is managed on-site through low-impact design stormwater management filters to help reduce pollutants and sedimentation of the surrounding streams.
- Varying scales of outdoor education, from a campus-wide trail system to the outdoor amphitheater, provide an inspiring setting for learning and a peaceful and healthy school environment.
The awards for Crofton High School mark the second collaboration between GWWO and AACPS recognized by AIA Chesapeake Bay with Severna Park High School receiving an award in 2018. GWWO’s continued focus on responsible design was also recently recognized by AIA Baltimore and Architect 50.