We are renovating large sections of exterior envelope at MDI High School, part of AOS 91 on Mount Desert Island. The project is awaiting funding.

Design Challenge

The original portion of MDI High School dates back several decades, and is one of the many Alonzo Harriman-designed school buildings in Maine. The school underwent major renovations and additions in 2001. Portions of the renovated exterior walls have suffered from water intrusion since that time. While we could identify the cause of the water intrusion, Sealander Architects and the school took an opportunity to fix the envelope deficiencies by not only making the building more weathertight, but also more energy-efficient and with better interior lighting levels.


Our solution is to reclad the building with insulated metal panels (IMPs) and high-performance glazing. We effectively tripled the overall u-value of the exterior envelope.

Design Options

The images to the left show design renderings we created to help the owner understand the effect of different window arrangements, both on the inside and outside. We recognized that glazing levels in classrooms were excessive. While everyone likes windows, too many windows can be a source of glare and cause uncomfortable thermal conditions.

The far left images are renderings of the interior and exterior of a typical classroom. We could have used photos, of course, but the existing conditions rendering set a baseline against which the design options can be compared. The interior rendering shows a large amount of glare. Successive options renderings use the same software settings, so the relative amounts of glare in each image is proportional to the amount of glare that would actually come through the windows. Option 4, in the right column, was the successful option.