The Detroit School of Arts (DSA) is a new, 1,200-student public high school located in the heart of Detroit's cultural center. Its opening in February 2005 marked the completion of the third and final phase of the Orchestra Place Master Plan, which includes historic Orchestra Hall and the Max M. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The six-story, 286,000 ft2 facility is a flagship project for the Detroit Public Schools' $1.5 billion bond program that has elevated the quality of the district's facilities.
Environmental responsibility is a centerpiece of DSA's design. Detroit Public Schools embraced green design since several green characteristics have been shown to raise student and staff performance.
The building is organized so that spaces that benefit from daylighting are on the perimeter and spaces not requiring daylight, or requiring darkness, are in the core of the building. The design team planned the building envelope with energy efficiency in mind, carefully considering the effects of shading devices, highly reflective roofing, green roofs, insulation values, and the placement of glazing and overhangs.
Recycled-content materials, low-emitting materials, and products manufactured within the region were preferred, and the project team diverted almost 60% of the construction waste, by weight, from landfills.
The location of the building in an urban environment convenient to public transportation and the provision of bicycle storage and changing facilities encourage students and employees to take advantage of alternative methods of transportation.