Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. is one of the highest performing schools in the country, sending 100% of their students to college year after year. The students of this high performing school started the 2021-22 school year in a high-performance building targeting NetZero Energy, but the story on how they got there is as inspiring as it was complex. This is a story of how strategic planning, budgeting, sustainable and forward-looking design, and the student voice led to a world-class NetZero building. Banneker is a school that serves predominately black and brown high school students in Washington, D.C. who, for years, were achieving in spite of their building, a 1930’s Junior High facility with very few upgrades or amenities. The building was not only outdated for 21st Century learning, it was placing a cap on student enrollment due to the size of the facility. Given the success of the program, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) wanted to open up more seats as part of their modernization but issues of race, gentrification, politics and the power of the student voice needed to first be addressed.
Join us for an exploration of how strategic planning and a challenging, collaborative, and fast-paced design process created a world class NetZero facility that both honors the legacy of Benjamin Banneker and was inspired by the voice of the students and the idea of a better tomorrow.
Omar Calderon, Principal, AIA
Omar offers over 22 years of planning and design leadership, with a keen interest in the broader perspectives of building and planning, seeking value-added solutions at the intersection of design and programming. A highly versatile designer, he has played a vital role on landmark projects encompassing commercial, residential, public, higher education, and primary/secondary education facilities. Omar assures design excellence on all projects in the Washington, DC office.
Patrick Davis, Principal
Patrick is the K12 leader for PE Strategies, the strategic planning and consulting arm for Perkins Eastman. Through his extensive experience at two large urban school districts, Patrick has demonstrated that successful learning environments are imagined well before a design even starts and that great buildings begin with thoughtful visioning and data-informed strategic planning. Patrick has been able to not only develop and lead portfolio planning efforts, but he has also overseen the implementation of those plans, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer at the District of Columbia Public Schools. Patrick’s planning has led to multi-billion-dollar investments in school facilities in Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Because of his experience, Patrick understands the challenges that school districts and local government agencies face, and he is able to bring that understanding and perspective to PE Strategies and Perkins Eastman.
Mary Rankin, Principal, AIA, LEED
For over 20 years, Mary has been involved in the design of award-winning projects in the District of Columbia. Her creative design and problem-solving abilities have assisted in creating compelling designs for a variety of project types, including high performance LEED Gold and Platinum education facilities. To share her passion for architecture with the next generation, she participates in the AIA | DC Committee on Architecture in Education and the Washington Architectural Foundation’s ongoing “Architecture in the Schools” program, teaching young children about the practice of architecture.
Juan Guarín, Associate, LEED AP BD+C, WELL
As a Sustainability Specialist, Juan focuses on high performance design and inclusive architecture. He takes his passion for passive design, building science, and indoor environmental quality to offer clients a full range of possibilities for their projects. Juan’s experience designing residential and commercial projects, coupled with his proficiency in certifying LEED projects, makes him a valuable team member. He also has a high level of expertise in building performance analysis and pre/post-occupancy evaluations.