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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"One of the fastest growing trends in school design is Net Zero Energy Schools. There are now [in 2011 when the article was published] at least a dozen or more schools completed or in construction that have achieved, or have committed to, this incredible level of energy efficiency. In this article we’ll examine this trend and take a brief look at some of the exemplary projects that attempt it."
A report with case studies on 15 Zero Energy schools in the U.S., prepared to help Baltimore City Schools in its building planning.
A detailed two page case study on the Zero Energy Ready Turkey Foot Middle School.
"Turkey Foot is revolutionizing the way kids learn, all within a new building that uses half the energy of the previous school despite being twice the size. Turkey Foot leveraged the practices and experience on other high performance goals in the District."
A detailed two page case study on the Zero Energy Ready Redding School of the Arts in Redding, CA.
"In 2011, the charter school opened a new facility with an ambitious goal of zero net energy, while dedicating only 2% of the budget to renewable energy systems."
Presentation at CxEnergy 2014 conference by Hanson, Inc. the commissioning agent for Sandy Grove Middle School. Sandy Grove, in Lumber Bridge, NC, is the first Zero Energy school built with a public-private partnership in the U.S.. Presentation includes technologies used, benefits of Zero Energy, common issues with the technologies they used, and lessons learned.
This article about zero energy schools appeared in the September 2018 issue of Civil Engineering, The Magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Summary: Across the United States, primary and secondary school buildings are leading the way in the so-called zero-energy movement, in which structures are designed to generate at least as much energy as they use. They tend to be owner-occupied, are located on roomy sites with plenty of roof space for solar panels, and have predictable energy usage patterns, making them the perfect candidates.
K–12 schools are ideal candidates to lead the market shift from buildings that consume energy to buildings that produce as much renewable energy as they use. There are now resources to guide owners and project teams as they make the shift to these “zero energy” buildings, notably the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K–12 School Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (K–12 ZE AEDG).
This 10-page paper provides a concise overview of the K–12 ZE AEDG (200 pages), as well as a nice explanation of the energy modeling and analysis methodology used to create the Design Guide.
This toolkit includes templates and customizable documents such as: agendas, activities for pre-charrette preparation, discussion topics and questions, checklists, and more.
Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, is one of the first zero energy schools on the east coast. This video tour of the school includes interviews from school officials and the architect responsible for delivering the school on-budget while meeting energy goals. Actual measured data shows that the school has been able to meet the zero energy criteria.