On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of a new partnership to jump-start zero energy schools across the country. The Zero Energy Schools Accelerator enables states and school districts alike to design, construct, and operate these cutting-edge, energy-saving schools. This press release highlights the importance of the Accelerator by featuring a completed zero energy school, Discovery Elementary in Arlington, Virginia.
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7x7x7: Design Energy Water is an innovative program by the Division of the State Architect that encouraged California school districts to develop long-range master plans that reduce energy and water consumption on campuses and improve the quality of educational spaces. The State Architect engages seven architectural firms to develop seven conceptual case studies that reduce school energy and water consumption and result in better learning environments on seven different types of campuses (six K-12 schools and a community college). The seven campuses are representative of typical building types from different eras constructed across California’s varied climate zones. The purpose and primary goal of this program is to enable all existing K-14 facilities to be zero energy by 2030.
"Investments in our school buildings are a “triple win” for communities. This guide builds the case for a range of strategic school building improvements that can help communities address the greatest challenges facing our school facilities in cross-cutting fashion. We define opportunities and strategies that all communities can leverage to build a case for real change in their schools."
Encouraging commercial building owners to set measurable energy goals before design begins can drive design and contractor teams to develop innovative energy efficiency solutions within conventional building budgets. The successes and lessons learned by a federal building owner's performance-based procurement project formed the basis of an expanded program using utilities as the outreach channel to replicate the approach. The utilities delivered incentive-based offerings to focus building owners on the whole building rather than on individual building components and systems. This 11-page paper documents the core principles, successes and lessons learned from these utility programs in different areas of the country.