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Title: Zero Energy Schools: The Challenges

Abstract

School buildings have a lot of potential to achieve zero energy (ZE) in new construction as well as in retrofits. There are many examples of schools operating at ZE, and many technical resources available to guide school districts and their design and construction teams through the process. When school districts embark on the path to ZE, however, they often confront challenges related to processes and a perception that ZE buildings require 'new,' unconventional, and expensive technologies, materials, or equipment. Here are some of the challenges school districts and their design and construction teams commonly encounter, and the solutions they use to overcome them.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1398246
Report Number(s):
NREL/FS-5500-68881; DOE/GO-102017-5029
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; zero energy school; challenges; solutions; building efficiency

Citation Formats

Torcellini, Paul A. Zero Energy Schools: The Challenges. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Torcellini, Paul A. Zero Energy Schools: The Challenges. United States.
Torcellini, Paul A. Fri . "Zero Energy Schools: The Challenges". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398246.
@article{osti_1398246,
title = {Zero Energy Schools: The Challenges},
author = {Torcellini, Paul A},
abstractNote = {School buildings have a lot of potential to achieve zero energy (ZE) in new construction as well as in retrofits. There are many examples of schools operating at ZE, and many technical resources available to guide school districts and their design and construction teams through the process. When school districts embark on the path to ZE, however, they often confront challenges related to processes and a perception that ZE buildings require 'new,' unconventional, and expensive technologies, materials, or equipment. Here are some of the challenges school districts and their design and construction teams commonly encounter, and the solutions they use to overcome them.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 29 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Sep 29 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • Designing, building, and operating zero energy ready K-12 schools provides benefits for districts, students, and teachers. Optimizing energy efficiency is important in any building, but it's particularly important in K-12 schools. Many U.S. school districts struggle for funding, and improving a school building's energy efficiency can free up operational funds that may then be available for educational and other purposes.
  • A simulation-based technical feasibility study was completed to show the types of technologies required to achieve ZEB status with this building type. These technologies are prioritized across the building's subsystem such that design teams can readily integrate the ideas. Energy use intensity (EUI) targets were established for U.S. climate zones such that K-12 schools can be zero-ready or can procure solar panels or other renewable energy production sources to meet the zero energy building definition. Results showed that it is possible for K-12 schools to achieve zero energy when the EUI is between 20 and 26 kBtu/ft2/yr. Temperate climates requiredmore » a smaller percentage of solar panel coverage than very hot or very cold climates. The paper provides a foundation for technically achieving zero energy schools with a vision of transforming the school construction market to mainstream zero energy buildings within typical construction budgets.« less
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  • Zero energy schools are possible and practical, and architects are leading the way. 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.
  • This report describes five major activities that the Alliance to Save Energy performed for the years 2000 and 2001 to support and compliment DOE's Energy Smart Schools Partnership. The major tasks under this project were to: (1) Promote the School Efficiency Peer Exchange program for school personnel; (2) develop the Earth Apple Awards program and disseminate the best award-winning ideas; (3) link Green Schools with Rebuilt with at least one metropolitan area such as Philadelphia or Buffalo; (4) support Rebuild/Energy Smart Schools through working at the state level to develop business, state, and local government and through making presentations inmore » support of school efficiency; (5) update the curriculum search originally conducted in 1995.« less