Blog > Celebrating Earth Day and Sustainable Design at Metcalfe
Celebrating Earth Day and Sustainable Design at Metcalfe
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This Earth Day, we’re celebrating sustainable design at Metcalfe.


Whether we’re sourcing sustainable materials, using energy-efficient systems, or designing a Passive House building, our team is always looking for new ways to create resilient work.


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Speaking of Passive House buildings… Solebury School’s Hope Hall is now the first dormitory in the country to be fully Phius certified.


The new residence building provides boarding students and dorm parent families with their first new building in several decades. The exterior is based on a vernacular barn typology to align with passive design conventions, while responding to the surrounding campus context.

Influenced by extensive community engagement, the building interior focuses on student life, with spaces for group activities, studying, quiet conversations, and movie marathons.


Did you know? Phius-certified buildings perform up to 85% better than conventional buildings.


Solebury engagement


Have you ever wanted to live in a treehouse?


As part of our community engagement at Solebury, we asked students to identify where they’d most like to hang out on campus.


“Treehouse” was a clear favorite.


When we think of a treehouse, we think of being high up and looking out over our surroundings. We feel a sense of security and also playfulness from being hidden away from everything.


We then set out to bring these qualities into the residence, designing oversized window seats that are easily supervised by dorm parents while giving residents the feeling of being secluded.


“Metcalfe designed a dorm that maximized the space at the end of a [corridor] by creating a platform that [students] could comfortably hang out in and that looked out over the woods—in effect, a treehouse.”

—Steve Feld, Director of Finance & Operations, Solebury School



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What’s next?


In 2023, Metcalfe signed onto the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment, joining our fellow architects with the goal of reaching net zero emissions in the built environment.


This year, we continue our commitment to sustainable design, working to incorporate Passive design principles into our projects with Bryn Athyn Church School, Elwyn Early Learning Services, and Princeton University, among others.


Did you know? You don’t need LEED or Phius certification to build sustainably. You’d be surprised how much of an impact even small changes can make.


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