Building for the Future

In keeping with its guiding principles of Education, Inspiration, and Innovation, the Alice Ferguson Foundation has embraced the most stringent set of green building, energy efficiency requirements in the world as we upgrade and enhance our environmental education campus. The net zero energy, net zero water, carbon neutral, and non-toxic component requirements of the Living Building Challenge™ will not only enhance and upgrade our structures but also serve as tools for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts, as well as augment our core ecological curriculum.

Our goal is clear: to regenerate the environment around us as we construct state-of-the-art buildings that serve as innovative and inspirational teaching tools.

Timeline & Highlights:

  • June 2017, after more than a year of active use as an educational and meeting space, the Cafritz Environmental Center officially joins the list of of the greenest buildings in the world, having received full certification under the Living Building Challenge™ by the International Living Future Institute.

Watch the certification ceremony:

  • Our Living Building, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center, was first unveiled at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, attended by Senator Ben Cardin, County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, and many other local dignitaries, in October 2015.
  • The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center was named to the list of Best Real Estate Deals of 2015 by the Washington Business Journal.
  • Alice Ferguson Foundation Executive Director, Lori Arguelles, was an invited guest on the popular Kojo Nnamdi radio talk show on WAMU to discuss the Living Building and how the metropolitan area is leading the nation in embracing green building technology. View a News Library for articles featuring our building.

The Cafritz Environmental Center is only the 13th project in the world to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification, the most rigorous and ambitious performance standard for buildings on the planet. To qualify, a structure must operate for a full year proving that it operates at net-zero energy and net-zero water in addition to being carbon neutral, using construction materials that are non-toxic and non-polluting and meeting numerous other environmental and social criteria.