This year is our 75th anniversary at WDG. It is an exciting benchmark to meet for many reasons. The existence of an architecture firm can be rocky at times and the idea of this one firm lasting close to a century is pretty inspiring. As a younger employee, there is a valuable perspective in looking back at what Eddie Weihe started even as we work hard today and look forward towards what we hope to accomplish in the future.

To that note, WDG started a non-profit division late last year to tackle the sort of problems and issues that we see as integral to the development of the profession and important to the role of an architect in the world today. SPI, or Special Projects Initiative, is the brainchild of Eric Liebmann, Director of Design for WDG.

SPI - Net Zero Energy Home

Having started SPI, we had a mission but now we needed a project. Remarkably, we had the perfect opportunity present itself a few short months earlier. We had an inquiry about designing an attached townhome in the Georgetown area, one that we had turned down because our office wasn’t a good fit for the project scale. All of a sudden it became a perfect project, with a twist, that we would do the home as a net-zero energy project. Eric and I teach in the graduate program at Catholic University so a fusion of all these elements made sense. After a few calls, Eric established a program to take on the project and a scholarship program to bring four Catholic students into our office to participate in a practical studio designing the home. Omar, Ben, Katie, and Dave showed up at the beginning of the spring semester and work began. Our small group of students, consultants and vendors has grown a great deal over the last few months. It is exciting to watch the energy and excitement a project like this can bring to people. Today we are close to issuing our permit drawings and starting construction. It has been an amazing and interesting journey to get to where we are today, one I hope to cover in future blog posts here on our site. For today I’d like to share a walkthrough of the project.

1912 35th Street Walkthrough from WDG Architecture on Vimeo.