This guide focuses on clean energy financing options for school administrators, facility managers, and other K-12 school decision makers who are considering investments in high performance school projects. This guide explicitly focuses on comprehensive energy upgrades, those that involve multiple measures and are targeted toward achieving significant energy savings. Successful implementation of clean energy upgrades in schools is a matter of understanding the opportunity, making the commitment, and creatively tapping into available financing. This guide attempts to provide the foundation needed for successful projects in U.S. schools. It walks through the financing options available to K-12 schools and provides case studies of six school districts from around the country.
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"Energy conservation presents a compelling and rich opportunity for K-12 schools. Historically, energy expenses in schools have been treated as relatively fixed and inevitable, flowing steadily in the background as administrators concentrated on urgent needs and programmatic priorities. There is growing awareness, however, that a focus on energy use in schools yields an array of important rewards in concert with educational excellence and a healthful learning environment. And there is new interest in behavior-based initiatives through which faculty, staff and students can be significant players in changing a school’s energy profile."
This case study describes a successful zero energy school project in Utah.
This case study details the successful achievement of Passive House performance and zero energy at the Friends School of Portland.
The Energy Lab at Hawai’i Preparatory Academy is the third building worldwide and the first K–12 school facility to achieve “Living” certification through the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This case study details how the project succeeded in these goals.
On the night of May 4, 2007 an EF5 tornado 1.7 miles wide ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95% of the city's homes and businesses. In the wake of the disaster, it became apparent that changes would need to occur to sustain the town for future generations. The Greensburg School District selected BNIM Architects to provide comprehensive design services for new school facilities.
In direct alignment with the town's Sustainable Comprehensive Master Plan, the USD decided to rebuild to LEED Platinum. This decision led the way for the city, which later mandated that all public buildings attain a Platinum rating. This K–12 facility combines the resources of three rural community school districts into a single facility, thereby right-sizing at a regional scale.
"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."
This guide primarily applies to facility managers and energy managers of large existing office buildings larger than 100,000 square feet, but also includes considerations for small and medium office buildings. By presenting general project planning guidance as well as financial payback metrics for the most common energy efficiency measures, this guide provides a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements for existing buildings.
Retail buildings in the U.S. are second only to office buildings in total energy consumption and represent approximately 13% of energy use in commercial buildings nationwide. The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Retail Buildings presents general project planning guidance as well as more detailed descriptions and financial payback metrics for the most important and relevant energy efficiency measures to provide a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements in existing buildings. This guide is primarily designed for facility managers and energy managers of existing retail buildings of all sizes.
This guide was created to help healthcare facility decision-makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. It was designed with energy managers in mind, and presents practical guidance for kick-starting the process and maintaining momentum throughout the project life cycle.