Looking Underground to Revamp a Historic Athletic Tradition
Sidwell Friends School has always promoted a strong focus on physical activity and student wellness throughout its history. Looking to expand its physical education and athletic facilities to meet increased student demand, Sidwell Friends faced a challenging site and limited space across its 14-acre campus. Needing a solution, the school studied the feasibility and ultimately created a 73,000 sf underground athletic complex housed beneath the 400m track and football field.
The underground facility features a four-court gymnasium with competition courts, retractable seating for 600, a fitness facility, wrestling room, coaches offices’ and lockers for students, faculty and officials. The facility utilizes a unique displacement ventilation approach to heating and cooling, helping the facility earn LEED Silver certification and minimizing cost and energy use for the school.
Displacement ventilation achieves 60,000 less kwh per year than a conventional mixed-use ventilation syste