5. DESIGN TO MEET EDUCATIONAL & ENERGY NEEDS

5. DESIGN TO MEET EDUCATIONAL & ENERGY NEEDS

The pedagogical value of a zero energy school can’t be overstated. It’s important to align the energy targets of the school with the educational goals advanced by administrators, teachers, parents, and the general public.

With that in mind, leverage the power of the integrative process to develop strategies to support students’ engagement with the building. The zero energy school becomes an integrated learning tool through which the students themselves become the greatest advocates for environmental stewardship as they carry what they have learned in and from their school with them through their lives.

There are also some key checkpoints to ensure the building is designed to meet energy goals. If quantitative energy goals are included in the contract, then ideally the owner will not need a “heavy-lift” during the actual design. Refer the resources below for more details on the checkpoints.

Resources

 

Link to More Resources

 

6. CONSTRUCT & COMMISSION

6. CONSTRUCT & COMMISSION

When it comes to achieving the low EUIs necessary for zero energy, details matter. Everyone on the team—from the lead architect to each subcontractor to the facility manager—has a part to play in ensuring the building meets the highest standards of efficiency and durability.

Additionally, the commissioning process may be more intense than usual as the building envelope, mechanical and electrical systems, and indoor air quality require significant attention to help ensure the building operates as intended.

RESOURCES

 

Link to More Resources

 

 

7. ENGAGE OCCUPANTS & EVALUATE SUCCESS

7. ENGAGE OCCUPANTS & EVALUATE SUCCESS

The success of a zero energy school depends on how occupants interact with its systems. If educational needs as well as energy needs have been accommodated, occupants are more likely to take ownership of energy goals. Yet education of occupants will still be required in order to succeed.

Especially during the first year of occupancy, frequent evaluation and correction is typically necessary in order to fine-tune building systems and ensure zero energy operation.

RESOURCES

 

Link to More Resources

 

8. REPLICATE THE ZERO ENERGY PROCESS

8. REPLICATE THE ZERO ENERGY PROCESS

Although every project is unique and requires a customized solution, the lessons you learned from creating your zero energy project can be replicated all over the nation. Share your success story locally as well as with the whole world! The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Catalogue is a great place to start.

 

Resources 

 

Link to More Resources ➤

 

Friends School of Portland

Friends School of Portland

More than half of all operating school districts in the U.S. are in rural areas. These small schools operate at a different scale and have different needs than their city counterparts. In 2003–2004, 20% of public schools in the U.S. served fewer than 200 students. Although the Friends School of Portland—which was designed to achieve both zero energy performance and Passivhaus certification—is an independent school, it faced financial constraints similar to those faced by many other small schools throughout the country. The project was financed through a capital campaign and a mortgage that forced a hard cost cap on the project, so the project team had to be diligent about every dollar.