Building Specs

  • Architect: Duda | Paine Architects LLP
  • Cost: Not Disclosed
  • Size: 70,000 SF
  • Schedule: 24 months

Bullis School Discovery Center

The Dr. Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center is a 70,000 square foot, state-of-the art educational building in the new heart of the Bullis campus in Potomac, MD. The Discovery Center is designed to enhance learning, creativity, and exploration for every student while allowing the School to maintain small classes and expand available classroom space on campus. The design’s transparent architecture, with views to a grand stair and second floor Innovation Lab, signifies the exciting activities occurring within. Learning, creativity and exploration are enhanced through an environment that is open and flexible to foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

Significant features of the Dr. Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center include:

  • Fabrication Lab modeled after MIT laboratories; include dedicated spaces for metal working, robotics, woodworking, and digital production.
  • Telepresence classroom with state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment to bridge time and distance allowing students to be in contact with experts off-campus and around the world
  • Versatile multi-use studio theater with movable seating for 225-person audiences to attend lectures, shows, ceremonies, exhibits and conferences
  • Student Center containing an expanded School Store, full service café and kitchen, and seating to provide ample study, meeting, and conversation spaces for classes and groups
  • Rooftop terrace for classes, special events and social gatherings

The Challenge

The Concrete Contractor installed lightweight concrete on the roof level in lieu of normal weight concrete providing less sound isolation performance for a given thickness. The building Energy Recovery Unit (ERU) was designed to sit directly above the new building’s Studio Theater making the sound isolation performance of the roof assembly a critical component in achieving suitably quiet noise levels inside the finished space. The General Contractor proposed removing the poured concrete deck and requiring the Subcontractor to replace it with the originally specified concrete. This remedial work would likely push the project completion date past the start of the new school year.