The Chartwell School

EHDD Architecture

The Chartwell School

Architect: EHDD Architecture

Size: 21,227 sf

Status: Completed in 2006

MSD Key Staff: David Mar

Awards and Certifications: 

  • LEED Platinum Certified

Chartwell School was founded in 1983 to advance the education of dyslexic children. For this new facility, completed more than twenty years later, David Mar and the architects worked together to create a living laboratory that would illuminate how buildings are assembled and make the most of the school’s limited resources.


The building’s exposed framing reveals its fundamental structure, while additional measures were taken to increase material and cost savings. Fine-tuning of the architecture and the structural module, and precise detailing throughout, reduced by 30 percent the total amount of wood required. This saving allowed for the use of FSC-certified lumber, which is sustainably grown and produced. Wholly 70 percent of the cement in the concrete was replaced with slag (a by-product of steel making), thus greatly reducing both the natural resources used and the build- ing’s carbon footprint. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) used in the roof further reduced the amount of lumber while providing for high insulation performance. Research for the building materials was supported by a Kresge Foundation grant. Chartwell was the first school in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification.

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