Book Offers Energy Efficiency Tips for Schools

A new publication written specifically for K-12 school buildings will aid design teams in building energy-smart schools using off-the-shelf technology that can cut energy use by 30% or more annually.

ATLANTA - A new publication written specifically for K-12 school buildings will aid design teams in building energy-smart schools using off-the-shelf technology that can cut energy use by 30% or more annually.

"The Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings," published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, teaches architects, engineers and others on building design teams how to use best design practices to create energy-saving buildings. Written in partnership with the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the U.S. Green Building Council and the U.S. Department of Energy, the book is available for free in electronic form. Hard copies also are available for purchase.

ASHRAE and its partners are sending more than 14,000 complimentary copies of the publication to school district officials nationwide to assist with the design of energy-efficient schools.

"Many schools throughout the country have increased energy efficiency, cut costs and reduced their environmental footprints through energy efficiency measures," said Paul Torcellini, chairman of the committee that wrote the book. "Many others, however, still spend more money on energy than they do on educational supplies. It's like money just goes out the single-pane windows or through the poorly insulated ceiling. Just think of all the things a school could do each year with the money it saves on energy: buy more books and computers, increase teachers’ salaries, upgrade the media center and gymnasium … the list goes on and on."

The publication features recommendations for various climate zones and how-to implementation tips via a series of real-life school construction case studies. Included are suggested steps for achieving LEED energy credits and supplemental strategies for achieving advanced energy savings beyond 30%.

Some of the design tips included in the guide are:

  • Provide daylighting to the classrooms and gym so that lights can be off most of the day, but design it carefully so additional cooling needs are not required.
  • Design lighting systems that use the most current energy-efficient lamps, ballasts and integrated controls.
  • Control the HVAC system bas on actual occupancy of each space at a given time. This requires the school to be zoned so that a zone’s HVAC system can be shut down when that specific part of the school is unoccupied.
  • Design a well-insulated “envelope,” including good wall and roof insulation and low-e windows.
  • Use high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment.

The cost of the publication’s print version is $59 for ASHRAE members and $47 for non-members. Additional information is available at www.ashrae.org/freeaedg and at 800/527-4723.