|One-third of clean energy buildings in U.S. are schools|
The CEED is listed in the New Buildings Institute study as one of dozens of educational facilities that produce at least as much energy as they use, while saving taxpayer dollars in the process.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Making a name for itself nationally, the CEED (Center for Energy Efficient Design) is now one of the ZNE (Zero Net Energy) educational facilities featured by the New Buildings Institute (NBI).
A study recently released by the NBI shows that ultra-efficient, clean energy-powered buildings are gaining ground across the United States.
The study, which is being distributed nationally to governments, utilities, energy efficiency advocates and building professionals, shows that one-third of those buildings are schools. The CEED is listed as one of dozens of educational facilities that produce at least as much energy as they use, while saving taxpayer dollars in the process.
"The beauty of the CEED as an educational facility is that it's not just a theory or picture in a book," said CEED instructor Neil Sigmon. "Our students actually live and learn in the space. These lessons have lasting effects on students, many of whom go on to careers in architecture and engineering. This is where they got their start."
NBI tracks the development of ZNE buildings in North America throughout the year.
According to a recent press release by the NBI, the number of buildings achieving or pursuing ZNE have more than doubled since the last study was released in 2012.
Currently, NBI has identified and verified 33 ZNE buildings and districts, 127 that classify as a ZNE work in progress and 53 ultra-low energy buildings.
"While this remains a relatively small set of buildings, the growth and diversity are important indicators for what we should expect in the coming years," said Ralph DiNola, NBI executive director.
The CEED is included as part of the Gereau Center, which has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the 79 Green Ribbon Schools in the country. Designed by green architect Adam Cohen, the CEED is also the first public school in the country to use the energy-efficient Passivhaus technology.
The CEED is gaining in notoriety across the nation and is being sought out for advice by other educational facilities, according to Gereau Center Principal Matt Brain.
"We have been contacted by a private school in Illinois because they have seen the CEED in publications and would like to know if we can give them some guidance as they attempt to build an energy efficient educational facility," said Brain. "I think this shows that we are moving in the right direction as far as getting our message out there."
NBI is a nonprofit organization working to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings. They work collaboratively with commercial building market players to remove barriers to energy efficiency. NBI also develops and offers guidance to individuals and organizations on designing and constructing energy-efficient buildings.
To learn more about NBI, visit www.newbuildings.org.