is proud to feature the second project in its Impact of Design Series, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We believe this data will inform the work of designers as they strive to create the optimal human experience.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School, a Brutalist building fraught with challenges, was selected as the prototype school for The Cambridge Green Schools' "Getting to Net Zero Framework," an initiative to change how the Cambridge school district thinks about energy in its buildings.
By definition a zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or in other definitions by renewable energy sources elsewhere.These buildings consequently contribute less overall greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than similar non-ZNE buildings.
The design team, led by Perkins Eastman, was tasked to create a high-performing building and a community school that responded to the needs of its neighbors. The project was complicated by the school's small and irregular site; the large and complex program accommodating 740 children from preschool to 8th grade; a robust after-school program; and an array of engaged stakeholders.