Learn how to build a zero energy school

Published on: 
14 Aug 2020
Talya Kravitz

USGBC is offering two opportunities for school design professionals and facilities leaders to learn about zero energy schools this month: a one-hour webinar on August 20 and an in-depth, on-demand course.

Webinar: Zero Energy Schools Are Here to Stay

In the webinar on August 20 at 3:00 pm Eastern, you’ll learn how national trends are playing out in local decisions around zero energy. The session will feature VMDO Architects, the firm behind the first LEED Zero school, Discovery Elementary, as well as a representative from New Buildings Institute. The two will discuss examples of zero energy schools, lessons learned, and best practices. Register for the webinar and explore other webinar offerings and recordings from the Center for Green Schools.

Course: Achieving Zero Energy Building Design

The new course, Achieving Zero Energy Building Design, is now available through a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society (EIS), and USGBC. Based on the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings, this course is designed to provide a skill and knowledge base for anyone seeking to understand and implement net-zero energy strategies.

Net-zero schools have lower energy consumption, provide educational opportunities for students to learn about sustainability and environmental stewardship, and help to accomplish schools’ mission to create a responsible, sustainable community. By taking this course, school-related professionals, including architects, engineers, project managers, building owners, facilities directors, and contractors, will have the knowledge to discuss and implement net-zero strategies in their schools.

The eight-hour course consists of twelve modules with content that applies to schools and commercial buildings, including case studies that focus on zero energy K-12 schools. Modules focus on topics such as key performance criteria, commissioning, project planning, HVAC systems, and plug loads. The format includes reference lists for additional reading, real-life case studies, video testimonials from design professionals, and separate learning paths for architects and engineers. Certificates of completion will be available for download for the successfully completed course.

We know that school design and construction is ongoing, despite the pandemic, and now is the right time to examine whether building zero energy schools is the right choice for your school or school district. With several examples in the field and a depth of research newly available, now is the time to jump in.

Explore the Achieving Zero Energy Building Design course