DOE Working to Implement Zero-Energy Design for Schools

Dec. 13, 2016

The Energy Department has collaborated with school districts to develop an energy design that reduces waste and saves costs.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has expanded the Better Buildings Initiative in an effort to engage leaders in a set of Better Buildings Accelerators designed to demonstrate specific innovative approaches, which, upon successful enaction, will accelerate investment in energy efficiency and clean energy for schools.

Six school districts, two states and several national organizations are working together to develop a zero-energy design that is cost-competitive to conventional construction in the education sector and in local communities across the nation. A zero-energy building is energy-efficient building in which the actual delivered energy is less than or equal to the onsite renewable exported energy.

On average, zero energy schools can use between 65-80% less energy than conventionally constructed schools and the remaining energy required is supplied by renewable energy. In addition to the cost savings from reduced energy usage that can be realized from Zero Energy construction, this approach can also, help prevent greenhouse gas emissions and improve the students’ learning environment.

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