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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.
In this video, Paul Torcellini, principal group manager for Commercial Buildings Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses the importance of design and planning in creating more energy-efficient buildings.