Seattle Public Schools

Measurement &

Arbor Heights Elementary
Cascadia Elementary
Genesee Hill Elementary
Hazel Wolf K-8
Olympic Hills Elementary
Thornton Creek Elementary

E.C. Hughes Elementary
Loyal Heights Elementary


Seattle Public Schools set out on an ambitious endeavor to renovate, modernize or replace 17 schools over a six-year period while carrying out 37 other safety improvement projects across the district. At this same time, the district was introducing new leadership, responding to a surge in enrollment, implementing a newly adopted Green Building resolution, and grappling with construction escalation costs. Their surgical, performance-based approach produced seven award-winning schools that celebrated local culture while exceeding performance goals and instilling equity across the capital program. We validated their efforts through our measurement and verification services.

We developed a framework to define “efficient operations” and standardize the benchmarks that would determine the building performance of six schools that had been in operation for at least one year, and two that had been operating for a portion of one year.  We evaluated the operating systems, envelope, schedule of operations and utility bills. The outcome proved buildings can be energy efficient, friendly to the environment, beautiful and within budget.

Hargis, the design community and Seattle Public Schools will be presenting the results from this study at the A4LE Washington Chapter Conference on Thursday, May 9th.