The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

VMDO Architects Receives Top National Sustainable Design Awards

Charlottesville, Va. – VMDO Architects, an architectural firm specializing in design for educational clients and municipalities, is the recipient of two national awards honoring excellence in sustainable design and practice.

These awards include an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Award for Discovery Elementary School and a Best of Green Schools Business Leader Award from the Green Schools National Network and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, co-sponsors of the annual Green Schools Conference.

AIA COTE Top Ten Award – Given annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) to the ten best projects worldwide that exemplify the integration of design and performance, the Top Ten Awards program recognizes achievements across the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental value. Discovery Elementary School (Arlington Public Schools, Virginia) is a 2017 recipient of a Top Ten Award for its achievement of zero energy design within a child-centric environment that seamlessly integrates design, sustainability, and learning. The largest zero energy school in the U.S., the school offers a positive example of a solution to the global crisis of climate change, and emboldens students to be creative participants in those solutions. The jury offered these comments:

“This project sets a new standard for public schools to achieve net zero energy in a challenging climate and makes excellent design decisions that reduce energy through daylighting and site integration.… In addition to being one of the few net zero energy schools in the United States … the project gives students the opportunity to enjoys hands-on learning around energy-efficiency and generation.”

VMDO Architects and Arlington Public Schools will accept the Top Ten Award at the AIA Conference on Architecture, occurring April 27-29, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. More information can be found at

Best of Green Schools Business Leader Award – At this year’s Green Schools Conference, which occurred March 21-22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, VMDO Architects received the top business sector award for the firm’s work pioneering sustainable educational environments where the building itself is a teaching tool. The award was presented by Jenny Seydel, Executive Director of the Green Schools National Network, and Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. Anisa Heming offered the following comments:

“VMDO continues to raise the bar in sustainability education and leadership. We believe that every student across the country should have the opportunity to learn in and from a green school environment and VMDO is making that happen in their local community every day. VMDO serves as an inspiration to their peers, and we look forward to being part of and learning from their work.”

Best of Green Schools award honorees include schools that represent the best that 21st century learning has to offer, policy makers who have made sustainability integral to their platforms, and organizations that come together on the national level to advance healthy schools for all. More information can be found at