Arlington Public Schools - Discovery Elementary School

Arlington County's ongoing Arlington Public School's improvement program includes the construction, replacement and renovation of several public schools within the system. 2012 began the construction of an all-new Discovery Elementary School, the first new elementary school in 11 years.

Since 1994, Heery has provided its services to Arlington Public Schools and has continued this relationship by providing construction management services for the new $33 million 97,588 SF elementary school, which consists of a two-story, steel frame superstructure with Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) bearing walls. A key opportunity within this project included Heery delivering the school as the first "net zero energy" school on the east coast of the United States and one of the first schools in the nation built under the Zero Energy Schools Accelerator Program, a government initiative that calls on national leaders in various sectors to make commitments to improve the energy efficiency of state and local buildings and plants.

To achieve net zero energy, the building contained many sustainable features including 1,706 roof-mounted solar panels, a geothermal well field, solar pre-heat of domestic water, 100% LED lighting, and exterior ICF walls with high thermal mass. Heery’s commitment to obtain a high level of quality ensured that net zero critical systems were installed in accordance with the contract documents and functioned as designed. Obtaining net zero energy for this facility will return approximately $120,000 annually to APS’ operating budget, while allowing the school community to enjoy the environmental benefits of a fully offset carbon footprint.

The American Institute of Architect (AIA) and the Committee on the Environment (COTE) named Arlington Public Schools’ Discovery Elementary a 2017 Top Ten Recipient of the COTE Top Ten Awards, the industry’s premier program celebrating sustainable design excellence. Discovery Elementary School was recognized for the project’s integration of design and performance as well as the school’s social, economic and ecological value.


Program Management
Construction Management


Arlington, VA


97,588 SF


CMAA National Capital Chapter, Building (New Construction/Renovation), Constructed Value Less than $50 Million, 2016 2017 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten, APS Discovery Elementary School