Valley View Middle School

Snohomish, WA

At the start of this project to build a replacement school on the existing Valley View site, DOWA-IBI Group formed a Design Committee of students, faculty, staff, and community members to be involved at every level of design, from graphics to interior design to exterior materials and finishes. The committee held a charrette to discuss interests and desires for their school. Sustainability was also a paramount goal for the District from the beginning; they wanted the new school to be among “the most sustainable projects in the state of Washington.” Thus early in the design process the team held an “eco-charrette” at which architects, engineers, District leadership, and District staff prioritized sustainable features including water retention and reuse, classroom daylighting, and energy efficiency.

During the construction process, the Design Committee and broader community were invited to monthly construction tours of the project, engaging them in the complete process. The project was designed to meet the rigorous Living Building Challenge standard.

The new Valley View Middle School building consists of four distinct wings joined by a central Commons—the school’s key gathering place. Each wing has a different function, and angles out from the Commons in response to the site conditions and to create meaningful outdoor areas for learning and play.
Sustainable features such as geo-thermal heating/cooling, super insulated exterior envelope, and heat recovery system have enabled the school to be a high-performing, energy efficient showcase.