Zero-Energy Schools

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March 10, 2015
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April 1, 2015

In an era of restrained school budgets, increasing utility costs, and demands for a higher level of service, school districts are looking for solutions. Zero-Energy Schools may be the solution for you.

A Zero-Energy School is a building that produces as much energy as it consumes. Some of the benefits of Zero-Energy buildings include lower utility costs and the creation of a unique opportunity for students to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship.

There are two primary strategies used to attain a Zero-Energy School. The first strategy is to reduce the amount of energy used by the building. This can be accomplished with a variety of techniques: from relatively simple measures such as using energy efficient light fixtures, to a more holistic approach that incorporates building orientation and passive solar strategies to heat the building. The second strategy is to produce renewable energy on the school property. Renewable energy systems include solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems. These systems are increasingly being utilized to mitigate unpredictable utility costs by providing consistent clean energy for the life of the building.

Districts seeking to attain Zero-Energy Schools typically require 20-30 percent additional project funding which is primarily used for renewable energy systems. By including renewable energy systems in the project as alternates, the District is better able to control costs and maintain flexibility. In many applications, renewable energy systems can be added to a school facility at a later date, thus keeping the goal of a Zero-Energy School building within reach.

Foreman Architects Engineers and our industry partners specialize in implementing Zero-Energy building strategies for Pennsylvania school districts and are committed to creating highly efficient buildings within your project budget. Contact Phillip Foreman at 724-452-9690 ext. 4119 or to learn more.