Downey & Scott provided cost estimating services for the Potomac River Habitat Complex, which is an educational farm located across the Potomac River from George Washington's historical home, Mt. Vernon. The center is an interactive learning environment of indoor and outdoor teaching labs that contains overnight accommodations in "pod" bungalows.
The project also includes cooking and dining facilities. As designed, the building is an eclectic mix of minimalist design that features a heavy frame wood truss system with a wood and cement sided exterior. Sustainable design is the theme as the project strives for LEED Platinum status as well as compliance with The Living Building Challenge. The project features a solid array of sustainable features for construction and daily operation including; composting toilets / no-flush urinals, rainwater harvesting, salvaged or FSC certified woods in all areas, geothermal assisted heating and cooling, photovoltaic power generation, active and passive solar systems, green roof, green wall, and Energy Star electronics and appliances throughout.
Additionally the project features a boardwalk around the emergent wetland that will be a highlight of the environmental education school visits to the farm, a new day use building for special events, and a lodge and two (2) sleeping cabins that will house overnight groups and classrooms.