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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The goal of the study was to determine the extent to which empirical evidence gathered via existing studies demonstrates that efficiency contributes to better financial performance.
Over 50 relevant studies from the market were reviewed and compiled into this summary.
While this review originally sought to cover all research on energy efficiency and financial performance, the final product focuses on “green labeled” buildings. The majority of research to date uses LEED or ENERGY STAR certifications as the means of distinguishing between efficient or sustainable buildings and conventional buildings. Specific energy efficiency measures, while proven to result in energy cost savings, have not yet been extensively evaluated for broader impacts.
This study does not represent new analysis conducted by DOE. It is a comprehensive survey and summary of the current body of research on the impacts of green labels on key components of commercial buildings’ operating statements. It does not exclude any studies or evaluate the quality of analysis.
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.
Imagine a school so inviting that students want to come to school. Now imagine this school housed in a beautiful, light-filled building that produces more energy on an annual basis than it uses. Finally, imagine that the district built this school on the same budget as a conventional school, using typical materials, equipment, and tradespeople.
Sound too good to be true? Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, is living proof that zero energy (ZE) schools are feasible, affordable, and sensible.