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.
This case study describes a successful zero energy school project in Utah.
The Sacred Heart Academy Library is part of the Sacred Heart School's Lower and Middle School campus. The library is intended as an educational demonstration of the school's goal "to teach students to be stewards of the earth's resources." The library has achieved zero energy while meeting a very modest construction budget - in fact, all Zero Energy features, including photovoltaic panels, were included within the already established budget.
Richardsville Elementary School is the first full-scale zero energy K-12 school in the United States. The school building, located in Kentucky's Warren County Public School District, uses many innovative strategies to conserve energy including dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) with dynamic reset, insulated concrete form (ICF) wall construction, daylighting, and ground source heat pumps, among others. The school has both thin film and crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels.
It is still early in the collection and analysis of energy performance data, but it is already clear that high-performance commercial buildings—some "almost net-zero buildings"—can be constructed cost effectively, providing productive environments for occupants, reducing operating costs, and enhancing the competitiveness of commercial properties.
This paper describes how net-zero energy buildings will produce, during a typical year, enough renewable energy to offset the energy they consume from the grid.
This conference paper discusses four well-documented definitions of net-zero energy: net-zero site energy, net-zero source energy, net-zero energy costs, and net-zero energy emissions, along with pluses and minuses of each.
This paper introduces a classification system for net-zero energy buildings (ZEB) based on the renewable sources a building uses.