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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"This paper discusses the evidence regarding daylighting and student performance and development, and presents four case studies of schools that have cost effectively implemented daylighting into their buildings."
This study expands and validates previous research by Heschong Mahone Group that found a statistical correlation between the amount of daylight in elementary school classrooms and student performance. The researchers reanalyzed student performance data from two school districts to answer questions raised by the previous study. The results are consistent with the original findings and affirm that daylight has a positive and highly significant association with improved student performance.
Despite the humid climate and lack of financial incentives, the American South is a hotbed of zero energy school construction.
"Education for Sustainability (EfS) empowers students to make decisions that balance the need to preserve healthy ecosystems with the need to promote vibrant economies and equitable social systems for all generations to come. Through a variety of EfS approaches, schools across the country and at all grade levels are currently satisfying curricular and achievement requirements and providing learning experiences that prepare students for the world they will inherit."
"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."
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."
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.
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.