By Nereyda Rodriguez, RA, LEED AP BD+C Associate, Director of Sustainable Design

Codman Academy Charter Public School provides a transformative education that prepares students for success in college, further education and beyond. Its K-8 Lower School is housed in the historic 1890 Lithgow Building, located in the heart of Codman Square. Previously a vacant retail building, MDS designed the comprehensive renovation and adaptive reuse that converted its interior into a vibrant school.

Our design approach was inspired by the theme: “A Walk in the Woods“ and draws on Trauma Informed Design principles. The design incorporates a warm palette with elements of nature to create nurturing and safe environments where young scholars will flourish. Core classrooms are supported by adjacent breakout space and tutor rooms for small group instruction. 

Good air quality, access to natural light, and acoustical privacy were key components to our design approach. Floors, ceilings and walls keep both mechanical and reverberation noise down within the teaching spaces and were constructed to meet the LEED for Schools acoustical prerequisite requirements. Mechanical spaces are highly efficient displacement systems and all new light fixtures are LED.  The school opened for the 2015-16 school year and is on track to achieving LEED Gold certification.


About MDS

MDS/Miller Dyer Spears is an architecture, planning and interior design firm based in Boston. Specializing in programmatically and technically complex renovation, expansion, and adaptive reuse projects, the firm works with institutions, schools, public agencies, developers, and communities to design buildings and spaces that enrich the user experience, advance mission and strengthen community. MDS is an adopter of the AIA Architecture 2030 Challenge and committed to reducing GHG emissions of the built environment and creating environments that support user health and wellness.

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