“Building assessment” is done to evaluate current building status and provide recommendations for future consideration. Typically, the core areas of building assessment are the capacity/robustness of the physical infrastructure, the suitability of the learning environment, the use of public space, the flexibility of spaces and uses, etc. Very often, building assessment focuses on the immediate needs of the building and overlooks goals such as energy performance, maintenance, and ongoing operations. Some key questions to ask during building assessment are: Is the site suitable? Is zero energy feasible in your climate? Can the budget accommodate envelope upgrades?
The answers may surprise you! Zero energy schools have been built on many types of sites, in most climate zones, and on very tight budgets. To help assess feasibility for your project, check out these case studies and other resources.