American University School of International Service

Washington, DC
United States
Project Size: 
1.8 acres
Project type: 
Institutional / Educational
Site Context: 
Former Land Use: 
Terrestrial Biome: 
Temperate Broadleaf & Mixed Forests
Project overview: 

The School of International Service (SIS) at American University created an integrated site and multiuse building that work together to produce a more sustainable environment for the university. The site was previously an impervious parking lot, but now works to recycle and filter all stormwater on the site. This is accomplished by collecting water from the building roof in a cistern for recycling to use in the building toilets. Stormwater detained on the site is reduced and filtered through green roofs, bioretention, and vegetated buffers. The building has also earned a LEED® Gold rating. A variety of outdoor seating opportunities were included to help facilitate interactions between students, faculty, staff, and guests. Other sustainable features include xeriscape planting, edible plants, LED lighting, and no irrigation.

photo by Paul Davis

Project Team
  • American University (AU) School for International Service: Michael Purcell, ALA, LEED AP BD+C, Project Manager, Architect; Michael Mastrota, RLA, Site Project Manager, Landscape Architect; Helen Lee, LEED GA, Sustainable SITES Intiative Manager, AU Zero Waste Coordinator; Don Harvey, Construction Supervision; David Wilson, Construction Supervision, Grounds Supervisor; Mark Feist, Assistant Director of Facilities Management, Grounds Operations; Stephanie DeStefano – Grounds Operations Coordinator, Horticulturist, Certified Arborist; Reuben Chavez, CLT, Ground Maintenance Zone Supervisor
  • Tilson Group: Rob Tilson, RLA, Landscape Contractor
  • Quinn Evans Associates: Carl Elefante, Design Architect, consultant
  • Delone Hampton Associates: Jim Long, Civil Engineer
  • Whiting Turner: Gary Murphy, contractor, general building construction