But thanks to a new tool developed by ASHRAE - along with ANSI members the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), as well as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) - design teams can cut elementary schools' annual energy use by 50 percent or more, and improve student performance to boot.
Available as a free download, the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building, is the second in a series of guides aimed at helping building owners, contractors, architects, and engineers achieve advanced levels of energy savings for specific types of buildings.
The AEDG guide for K-12 school buildings provides design teams the tools needed to achieve a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
"Significant research demonstrates that the quality of the physical environment affects student performance," explained steering committee chair Shanti Pless. "An environment that includes appropriate lighting, sound, temperature, humidity, cleanliness, color, and air quality can help students learn better. The tips, guidelines, and tables included in the newest AEDG for K-12 schools can set building owners on their way to more energy efficient, productive schools in a cost efficient manner."
The guide addresses integrated design as an essential component in achieving 50% energy, and features recommendations for various climate zones, implementation tips, and a series of real-life school construction case studies. The guide also includes a performance path, with guidance for early stage energy modeling and annual energy use targets, to help schools set goals and measure their progress.
ASHRAE, IES, DoE, USGBC, and AIA are currently at work on a third guide in the 50 percent series, which will focus on medium/big box retail stores, with publication targeted for the winter of 2012. A guide for large hospitals will follow later that year. The 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide series follows an earlier six-book series that provided guidance to achieve 30 percent savings.
All of the AEDG guides are available for free in electronic form at www.ashrae.org/freeaedg.