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Environmental Design Elements

Page history last edited by timothymjones25@hotmail.com 10 years, 3 months ago

Environmental Design Elements

 

 

Access to libraries for persons with disabilities - CHECKLIST

All of our design elements are environmentally friendly, ADA compliant, cost saving, energy saving, and very conducive for an educational setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design element:  Acoustical consideration, Students are able to hear and be heard over other teachers presenting lessons. Sections which are suppose to be quiet remain quiet.

Doing research on this element I found the perfect material to be recycled cotton.  Student would be able to research this material for a science unit on recycling or physics unit on acoustical properties.  It is very easy to install and very economical in price.  The best part of this material is we can use it in our teaching areas and the sound will be able to stay in that area.  We realize that teachers may bring other students in to use our media center while we have a class going on in another area. This material is perfect for our media center. 

 

 

 

 

 

ECHO ELIMINATOR™

Bonded Acoustical Cotton (B.A.C.)

The Most Cost Effective Acoustical Absorbing Material On The Market

Echo Eliminator is a high performance acoustical material made from recycled cotton. This product is ideal for noise control applications. Echo Eliminator can be used as an acoustic wall panel or hanging baffle. Common applications are school gyms, classrooms and lunch rooms and any application where a high performance noise control product is needed. Echo Eliminator is LEED eligible, Class A fire retardant and 100% recyclable.

• Recycled cotton (green acoustical material)

• Class A - nonflammable (Per ASTM E-84)

• Lightweight

• Easy to install (adhesively applied)

• Impact resistant

• Durable

• Low cost

• Hi-light reflectance

• Hi-performance acoustical absorption

• Relocatable (with grommets)

 

 

Design element:  Power Consumption, media specialists are aware as well as school administrators of the consumption of power in the media center and how to decrease power consumption.

Doing research on this element, I found media center are huge power hogs.  Media centers house most of the technology in the building: servers, computers, LCD projectors, DVD/VHS players, Interactive white boards, copier(s), Document cameras, etc. Students could first perform a power consumption survey at: http://power.normi.org/survey.cgi?ID=02215 

Once you found how much power you use they can graph the information using Excel.  Doing research on a district in Louisiana, I found many ways we can save money and help the environment (just a few examples):

  • Solar shades were installed in classrooms to help control solar heat gain, reduce glare, and improve natural lighting within the classrooms.

 

  • Occupancy sensors were also installed in each classroom to reduce the length of time lights are left on when classrooms are unoccupied. During the energy audit, it was observed that approximately 75% of the lights remained on throughout the evening hours when the classrooms were unoccupied. This simple retrofit can reduce annual lighting needs by 25% or more with an utility cost savings of approximately $9000 annually.

 

  • All incandescent light bulbs were replaced with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) with the assistance of Green Light New Orleans volunteers.

 

  • In addition, a rainwater cistern was installed at the site of the future arts and music facility to be used as an educational tool to teach students about water use and conservation. This 1500 gallon cistern will be used to capture and filter rainwater for the irrigation of nearby green spaces, raised garden beds, and fruit trees. 

 

After we have installed and have had our media center up and running, we can start to doing outreach to the community about how our green school is performing and helping the environment.  This is an excellent tie in with science and civics classes.  

 

The Green Seed Schools program is the first component of the Green Schools Initiative. Five schools will be selected and designated as "Green Seed Schools." Each school will receive up to $75,000 in grant funds toward energy audits, technical assistance, and improvements to increase energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and if feasible, create on-site renewable energy generation. To date, two of the five schools have been completed, one is in progress, and two have yet to be determined. Global Green hopes to utilize the upgrades at these schools to help educate students, teachers, and the community of how important green schools are for the rebirth of New Orleans.

GREEN SEED SCHOOL #1: A.P TUREAUD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

A.P. Tureaud Elementary School is the first Green Seed School selected and completed by Global Green. It is located in the Seventh Ward and it was designed by E.A. Christy and constructed in 1939.

An energy audit conducted in June 2007 determined that the building is ranked in the bottom 29th percentile for energy performance with a total of 530,331 KWh of electricity and 9,271 ccf of natural gas used annually (combined Btu of 2,765,859,803). This amount of energy usage translates into nearly $80,000 per year in utility expenses. The carbon dioxide emissions were also estimated to be 15.8% higher than an industry average facility.

The Global Green upgrades will save the school an estimated $26,588 in utility costs and reduce the carbon emissions by 220,216 lbs annually. This investment will pay for itself in approximately 2.5 years. In order to achieve these savings, Global Green enacted the following:

 

  • Solar shades were installed in classrooms to help control solar heat gain, reduce glare, and improve natural lighting within the classrooms.
  • Occupancy sensors were also installed in each classroom to reduce the length of time lights are left on when classrooms are unoccupied. During the energy audit, it was observed that approximately 75% of the lights remained on throughout the evening hours when the classrooms were unoccupied. This simple retrofit can reduce annual lighting needs by 25% or more with an utility cost savings of approximately $9000 annually.
  • All incandescent light bulbs were replaced with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) with the assistance of Green Light New Orleans volunteers.
  • Doors and windows were caulked and weatherstripped to reduce air leakage into the school and missing window panes were also replaced.
  • In addition, Global Green took the extra step to negotiate with the building automation company to inspect the system which controls the HVAC equipment and ensure that the thermostat set points are adjusted based on current occupancy loads and seasonal schedules.

     

In addition to implementing these green upgrades, Global Green identified strategies that can be incorporated into routine custodial and maintenance practices at little or no cost. Some of these strategies include making sure lighting systems, office equipment, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment is turned off or in energy saving modes during weekends and extended holiday periods; closing windows when heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment are operating; changing filters each month and inspecting the boilers each quarter for safety as well as efficiency. 

 

GREEN SEED SCHOOL #2: THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

The International School, formerly known as the Andrew Jackson Elementary School, is the second Green Seed School selected and recently completed by Global Green. The 82-year old school is located in the Lower Garden District, and like A.P. Tureaud Elementary School, was also designed by A.E. Christy.

 

Utility data was collected from August 2006 until August 2007 and an energy audit was performed to guide the green energy efficient upgrades. Analysis of the utility bills showed the electrical consumption to be 552,800 KWh and the natural gas consumption to be 3,527 ccf annually (combined Btu of 2,253,000,000). The combined energy cost for this annual period was $69,908.

The Global Green upgrades will save the school an estimated $21,781 in utility costs and reduce the carbon emissions by 177,109 lbs annually. This investment will pay for itself in approximately 3.5 years. In order to achieve these savings, Global Green enacted the following:

  • Higher wattage fluorescent lamps were replaced with lower wattage fluorescent lamps, thus reducing the wattage and energy used while still providing the same light output. In addition light fixtures in the Library Annex were replaced with more energy efficient light fixtures that require fewer fluorescent lamps and provide more light output.
  • Solar shades were installed in all East, West, and South facing classrooms to reduce solar heat gain, reduce glare, and improve natural lighting within the classrooms.
  • Occupancy sensors were installed in all classrooms and will reduce the length of time lights are left on when classrooms are unoccupied, especially from 7:00 pm to 6:30 am.
  • A radiant barrier water heater blanket was also installed on a 38-gallon natural gas water heater that feeds hot water to the kitchen. This easy green retrofit insulates the water in the tank so it stays hot longer and reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the water.
  • In addition, a rainwater cistern was installed at the site of the future arts and music facility to be used as an educational tool to teach students about water use and conservation. This 1500 gallon cistern will be used to capture and filter rainwater for the irrigation of nearby green spaces, raised garden beds, and fruit trees.

     

In addition to implementing these green upgrades, Global Green identified strategies that can be incorporated into routine custodial and maintenance practices at little or no cost. Some of these strategies include having window shades drawn down on the East side of the building during the morning and on the West side of the building during the afternoon; training the staff, particularly the custodial staff, to turn off lights in unoccupied areas such as the hallways and the cafeteria after school hours; and ensuring that the thermostat set points for the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment is adjusted properly based on the seasons and occupancy levels.

 

GREEN SEED SCHOOL #3: DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School is the third Green Seed School selected and completed by Global Green. It is located in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, a targeted recovery neighborhood. It was constructed in 2003 and was severely flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Most of the school was renovated and reopened in 2007.

 

Utility data was collected covering the months of June 2007 until May 2008 and an energy audit was performed to guide the energy efficient upgrades. Analysis of the utility bills showed the electrical consumption to be 1,425,500 kWh and the natural gas consumption to be 2,593 ccf annually (combined Btu of 5,134,903,500). The combined energy cost for this annual period was 124,240.

 

The Global Green upgrades will save the school an estimated $21,781 in utility costs and reduce the carbon emissions by 174,550 lbs annually. This investment will pay for itself in approximately 3.5 years. In order to achieve these savings, Global Green enacted the following energy saving strategies:

  • Higher wattage fluorescent lamps were replaced with lower wattage fluorescent lamps, thus reducing the wattage and energy used while still providing the same light output.
  • Some light fixtures were replaced with more energy efficient light fixtures that require fewer fluorescent lamps and provide more light output.
  • Quartz light fixtures in the cafeteria/auditorium were replaced with LED recessed light fixtures.
  • All light fixture lenses were cleaned and missing reflectors were replaced.
  • Occupancy sensors were installed in all classrooms and will reduce the length of time lights are left on when classrooms are unoccupied, especially from 7:00 pm to 6:30 am.
  • Daylight sensors were installed on light fixtures in the foyer and interior and exterior stairwells which get a lot of natural light.
  • Gaps around penetrations in the roof and foundation were weather-sealed.

In addition to implementing these green upgrades, Global Green identified strategies that can be incorporated into routine custodial and maintenance practices at little or no cost. Some of these strategies include having window shades drawn down on the east side of the building during the morning and on the west side of the building during the afternoon; training the staff, particularly the custodial staff, to turn off lights in unoccupied areas such as the hallways and the cafeteria after school hour, and close windows when heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is operating.

During the energy audit, it was discovered that the building automation system was not fully operational. Heating and cooling set points were not entered into the building automation system for some zones in the school. As a result, the facilities managers would have to manually turn on and off the heating and cooling in these areas upon request. Global Green determined that this was something that could easily be fixed by the building automation company for no additional fee.

 

GREEN SEED SCHOOL #4: GENTILLY TERRACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Gentilly Terrace Elementary School is the fourth and final Green Seed School selected and completed by Global Green. It is located in the Gentilly Terrace neighborhood, a targeted recovery neighborhood. It was designed by E.A. Christy and constructed in 1914.

 

Utility data was collected covering the months of April 2007 until December 2008 and an energy audit was performed to guide the energy efficient upgrades. Analysis of the utility bills showed the electrical consumption to be 528,000 KWh and the natural gas consumption to be 8,688 ccf annually (combined Btu of 2,705,616,000). The combined energy cost for this annual period was $72,773.

 

The Global Green upgrades will save the school an estimated $24,021 in utility costs and reduce the carbon emissions by 195,335 lbs annually. This investment will pay for itself in approximately 3.1 years. In order to achieve these savings, Global Green enacted the following energy saving strategies:

  • Higher wattage fluorescent lamps were replaced with lower wattage fluorescent lamps, thus reducing the wattage and energy used while still providing the same light output.
  • Some light fixtures were replaced with more energy efficient light fixtures that require fewer fluorescent lamps and provide more light output.
  • Occupancy sensors were installed in all classrooms and will reduce the length of time lights are left on when classrooms are unoccupied, especially from 7:00 pm to 6:30 am.
  • Daylight sensors were installed on light fixtures in the interior hallway which get a lot of natural light.
  • Solar shades were installed in all windows except for the interior hallway windows to reduce solar heat gain, reduce glare, and improve natural lighting within classrooms and offices.
  • The programmable thermostats that control the HVAC system for the cafeteria were reset by switching them from “fan-on” mode to “fan-auto” mode". Also, the cooling and heating set points were adjusted to levels appropriate for occupancy loads and seasonal schedules.

In addition to implementing these green upgrades, Global Green identified strategies that can be incorporated into routine custodial and maintenance practices at little or no cost. Some of these strategies include having window shades drawn down on the east side of the building during the morning and on the west side of the building during the afternoon; training the staff, particularly the custodial staff, to turn off lights in unoccupied areas such as the hallways and the cafeteria after school hours; and ensuring that filters for the HVAC systems are changed routinely so that the systems run more efficiently.

 

 

The Model Green Schools program is the second and more ambitious phase of the Green Schools Initiative. This program will result in the creation of high performance showcase green schools including the major rehabilitation of one school and the new construction of another school over the course of the next two years.

The two Model Green Schools will receive over $720,000 (combined) worth of green upgrades and technical assistance with a goal of achieving LEED for Schools Silver certification. LEED is a third-party certification program and nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The Model Green Schools program will allow for a comprehensive menu of improvements that will contribute to model green environmental conditions in the building such as improved acoustics, lighting, and indoor air quality, and greater reductions in water and energy use. The two Model Green Schools will be announced in the near future.

MODEL GREEN SEED SCHOOL #1: ANDREW H. WILSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Global Green has committed $300,000 plus technical expertise to Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School and to the Recovery School District to enable green renovations as part of the school's rebuilding effort.

The  Wilson Elementary School sustained significant damage from wind and flood waters due to Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. It is the only school in the Broadmoor neighborhood and it was designed by E.A. Christy and constructed in 1928. Wilson School will be a "Model Green School," where the extensive rebuilding will allow for a comprehensive menu of improvements that will contribute to model green environmental conditions in the building such as improved acoustics, lighting, and indoor air quality, and greater reductions in water and energy usage 

 

The Wilson project will include a complete restoration of the existing building which is approximately 37,000 sf and two additions totaling 43,000 sf. The new building additions will include a gymnasium, cafeteria, and additional art and music classroom space. The existing building will be renovated to modern standards while preserving the historical characteristics of the original building.

 

With the help of the Recovery School District, which has committed to seeking LEED Silver status for the school, and financial and technical assistance from Global Green, a design team will integrate the highest standards of efficiency and sustainability when applying needed structural improvements. The Wilson School will incorporate more than 40 specific green measures that will enhance building and student performance. Some green features that Global Green is committed to funding include:

  • 12-15 Solar Domestic Hot Water panels that will be installed above the kitchen to serve 90% of the hot water demand for the kitchen.
  • One 12,000-gallon above ground cistern that will collect and store rainwater for irrigation purposes.
  • Web-based display technology that will illustrate energy and water usage. The school will be able to use the data for educational purposes and to monitor carbon offset.
  • Wetland habitat with 90% native species to serve as an outdoor educational classroom and to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater leaving the site.
  • Interpretive signage to be posted in and around the school to identify and provide information about the school's green technology.

The design of the Wilson School also includes space allocated for photovoltaic panels to supply renewable energy to the school. Global Green is currently soliciting donations to fund the purchase and installation of these panels, which would be installed over the entrance canopy on one of the new additions to the school.

Global Green is proud to take this next step in helping New Orleans build green and feels that the Wilson School will not only serve as an important model for all of the rebuilding of schools in the city, but it will also be a stimulus for rebuilding Broadmoor in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

Shortly after the BCKF grant was announced in 2006, the Louisiana Recovery Authority contacted Global Green and requested that the organization draft a green rebuilding policy for all major school renovations and new schools in Louisiana, whether flood damaged or not. Global Green accepted the state’s request, and worked with green building experts and representatives of the insurance industry to craft a comprehensive green schools policy for Louisiana. In January of 2007, the LRA voted to incorporate Global Green’s policy into its guidelines for schools receiving Community Development Block Grants. 

 

In addition to creating guidelines for the state, Global Green committed to use a portion of its BCKF funds to give three green schools workshops around the state, targeting the regions that were most impacted by the 2005 hurricane season.

All three workshops were successfully completed, the first in Orleans Parish, the second in Cameron Parish - the area most damaged by Hurricane Rita, and the third and final workshop was held in East Baton Rouge Parish, which has grown significantly as a result of population migration after the 2005 hurricanes. 

 

Other policy efforts have been focused in New Orleans. Global Green drafted a Green Schools Resolution that was passed unanimously by the City Council in May 2008. At the time, the Council directed City staff to work with Global Green to draft a Green Schools Ordinance to give the Resolution some authority, and work on this ordinance is ongoing.

 

Finally, Global Green formally partnered with New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD) in 2007, offering guidelines and ongoing technical assistance. The guidelines were incorporated into the recently adopted master plan for Orleans Parish Public Schools, which supports the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for all of its new school facilities and major renovation projects.

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Energy Efficiency in Green Building Design

Incorporating Green into School Curriculum

Green Schools Presentation

State and Local Policy Possibilities

 

 

 

Design element:  Green Flooring, media specialist have a duty to design a flooring which will help the students focus as well as decrease the schools impact on the environment.

 

Researching this element I found two suitable substances. Recycled Cork is a perfect flooring and green label tested  for microbes carpet are ideal for our media center. Both are recycled and are germ/microbes free.  This flooring would align perfectly with a genetics and biology curriculum. Students would be able to research and discuss why this material was picked and is wonderful in our media center.  Cork is both environmental friendly and acoustically sound for a media center. The carpet I researched is germ and antibacterial free and treated to be almost bacterial preventative.      

 

Flooring

 

GREENFLOORS CORK FLOORING

GreenFloors Cork is environmentally correct as well as improving health and comfort for human indoor living. In our homes, cork floors create a warm, comfortable, resilient surface that is gentle underfoot, and is anti-microbial.

From harvest to production to installation, cork is environmentally sustainable, non-toxic, and healthy. Cork is a truly sustainable “green-building” material. Trees are grown and the bark is harvested in the centuries old tradition without harming either the trees or their habitat. Bark is initially sent to a factory to create stoppers for wine bottles. Cork flooring is then created from post-industrial by-product of the bottle-stopper industry. This ‘waste’ material is ground up and then formed into sheets using minimal amounts of adhesive to bind the particles together under high pressure.

 

 

GREENFLOORS COMMERCIAL CARPETS AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY

  All GreenFloors commercial carpet are certified by the CRI Green Label indoor air quality carpet testing program for volatile organic compounds (VOC)'s.

The CRI Green Label sets the standard to ensure that the consumer is purchasing the lowest emitting interior products on the market.

 

 

 

"Green Label" Testing Program - Carpet Criteria

To identify carpet products that are truly low-VOC, CRI has established a labeling program. The CRI Indoor Air Quality Carpet Testing Program green and white logo     informs the consumer that the product type has been tested by an independent laboratory and has met the criteria for very low emissions.

 The carpet sample is tested for chemical emissions by Air Quality Sciences, an Atlanta-based, independent laboratory using the latest, most up-to-date, dynamic environmental chamber technology. The test methodology was developed by consensus during an official dialogue with the EPA and has been adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as D 5116 – Guide for Small-Scale Environmental Chamber Determinations of Organic Emissions from Indoor Materials/Products.

 Since the inception of the program in 1992, the industry has made substantial reductions in the levels of TVOCs, as well as reductions in 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC), the compound most associated with "new carpet odor."

 The carpet manufacturer is allowed to use the CRI/IAQ Carpet Testing Program label for that specific product type if the test result does not exceed the stated emission criteria. The product type number on the label identifies the manufacturer of the carpet and tells the buyer that the manufacturer has produced a product that meets the criteria for low emissions. Products are re-tested quarterly to monitor continued compliance with the test program requirements. Consumers can feel confident in selecting a carpet bearing the CRI Indoor Air Quality label. The label is assurance that the product is a responsible, low-emitting carpet.

 The current criteria for the program are based on a maximum emission factor measured in mg/m² ∙hr as follows:

Total Volatile Organic Compounds  0.5 

4-PC (4-Phenylcyclohexene) 0.05 Formaldehyde (to prove that none is used) 0.05 Styrene 0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design element:  Ventilation, schools need to be properly ventilated so as to let stagnate air out and clean pollutant free air in.

 

While doing research on this design element, I found the perfect ventilation system which is cost effective and good for the environment. Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems are the best system to use and. They provide for a cooler air intake near the bottom of the building.  This scientifically perfect system would be an excellent project for a advanced 8th grade science class to research and possible recreate.  

VENTILATION

 

Green Building Primer

Ventilation

A building which is well insulated and sufficiently air tight to be energy efficient will generally need some kind of ventilation system to provide fresh air and control moisture. In the past, buildings were ventilated through uncontrolled air movement and infiltration through small cracks and holes in the building envelope, but in energy efficient buildings, those small cracks and holes don't exist. Some ventilation can be achieved by opening windows and doors, especially with the addition of passive solar ventilation, whole house fans and other spot ventilation. When a central heating or cooling system is in use, however, it would be counterproductive to use any of those ventilation strategies, and some form of whole-house ventilation would be more appropriate.

 

There are several types of whole house ventilation systems:

 

Exhaust Ventilation Systems work by decreasing the air pressure inside of a building, causing indoor air to leave the building, while outside air enters the building through leaks in the building shell and intentional passive vents. These systems are most suitable in cold climates, as warm, moist outdoor air can condense and cause moisture damage inside building walls. These types of systems are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but cause higher heating and cooling energy costs than energy recovery ventilation systems, as the incoming air is not warmed, cooled, or dehumidified before entering the building.

 

Graphic Courtesy of EERE

 

 

Supply Ventilation Systems use a fan to force outside air in to a building, causing inside air to leak out through holes in the building shell and intentional ducts and vents. Unlike exhaust ventilation systems, these systems allow control of where air enters a building, and allow outdoor air to be filtered to remove pollutants and moisture. These systems work best in hot or mixed climates; in cool climates, there is a potential for moisture damage as warm interior air leaks out of the building and moisture condenses in colder parts of the exterior wall. These systems lead to higher heating and cooling requirements than energy recovery systems.

 

Graphic Courtesy of EERE

 

 

Balanced Ventilation Systems exhaust and introduce roughly equal amounts of outdoor and indoor air. Because they directly supply outside air, it can be filtered to remove pollutants and moisture. Such systems are appropriate for all climates, but like the previous two systems, lead to higher heating and cooling costs than energy recovery ventilation systems. They are also more complicated and expensive than exhaust or supply systems.

 

Graphic Courtesy of EERE

 

BEST to use on our media center.

 

Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems transfer heat from outgoing air to incoming air in the winter, and from incoming air to outgoing air in the summer, leading to lower heating and cooling requirements. There are several different types of energy recovery ventilation systems, but they all have a heat exchanger, controls, and one or more fans to move air through the machine. Energy recovery ventilation systems are more expensive to install, require more maintenance and require more electricity to run than the previous three types of systems, but can provide significant energy savings in heating and cooling. They provide the most return on investment in climates with relatively extreme winters or summers and where costs of heating and cooling are high.

 

Resources:

ajohns@williams.edu  || © Williams College 2008

 

RenewAire ™ manufactures Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV). ERV is the technology that completes an HVAC system. The "V" in HVAC can no longer be ignored and higher ventilation loads require a new design approach.

Whether you are a business owner, building administrator or engineer, it is essential to realize the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) and fresh air ventilation. RenewAire reduces the concentration of harmful pollutants in indoor air - an absolute must in schools, offices and smoking environments.

RenewAire's factory in Madison, Wisconsin has been producing ERVs using hydroscopic static plate cores since 1983. RenewAire units have been installed in hot and cold climates with the majority being used in Wisconsin, Minnesota and New England. ERV makes sense in both cold weather and hot, humid weather. RenewAire's all-weather performance can cut annual energy bills for heating, cooling and dehumidification of ventilation by 50% or more.

RenewAire is your ventilation solution for schools, health care facilities and many other commercial applications. Throughout the commercial HVAC market, the reliability of RenewAire's static-plate core - backed by the industry's best warranty - has made RenewAire the leader in energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems for over 20 years in the U.S. market.

 

 

 

Design element:  Lighting, this element allows our students to focus on technology and teaching as well as save our environment.

 

Researching this element, I found Compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) to be the best to use in our media center where natural light is not present.  Students can easily research how goo CFLs are and what type would be best for our media center.  The science curriculum would adhere nicely to this design element.   

 

Green Lighting

Top Green Lighting Tips

 

  1. CFL: The better bulb

    Compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) are those swirley little guys that look like soft-serve ice cream cones. Actually, they come in a myriad of different shapes, sizes, and colors of light. Economically speaking, they’re a great deal, too. CFLs cost a bit more than an incandescent, but use about a quarter as much energy and last many times longer (usually around 10,000 hours). It is estimated that a CFL pays for its higher price after about 500 hours of use. After that, it’s money in your pocket. Also, because CFLs release less heat, not only are they safer, but your cooling load is less in the summer. CFLs aren’t hard to find anymore, and many cities will give them away for free. Wal-Mart has plans to sell 100 million of them.

  2. Get the LEDs out

    LEDs are a definite TreeHugger favorite. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are a technology that allows for extremely energy efficient and extremely long-lasting light bulbs. LEDs are just starting to hit the consumer market in a big (read affordable) way and still cost quite a bit more than even CFLs, but use even less energy and last even longer. An LED light bulb can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours. They even light up faster than regular bulbs (which could save your life it there are LEDs in the brake lights of your car). They are almost always more expensive presently, but we have seen the cost go down steadily. It’s no coincidence that the Millennium Technology Prize went to the inventor of the LED.

     

    Most LED lamps on the market have the bulbs built into them, so you buy the whole unit. For screw-in bulbs, check out Ledtronics, Mule, and Enlux. For desk lamps, check out a few affordable ones from Sylvania and Koncept. For more designer models, look at LEDs from Herman Miller and Knoll. Vessel rechargeable accent lamps represent some of the interesting new things LEDs can do as well.

  3. Materials

    Light isn’t all about the bulbs, though. Having eco-friendly lamps and light fixtures is key to greening your lighting. When scouting for new gear, keep your eyes out for lamps made with natural, recycled, or reused materials. Lights made from recycled materials include metal, glass, or plastic, and natural materials can include felt, cloth or wood. Interesting lamps that use reclaimed materials include these made from traffic signal lenses, and these made from wine bottles. Also, don’t be shy about borrowing ideas for reuse in your own projects (see DIY).

  4. Disposabulb

    Fluorescents last a long time, but when they’re dead, they have to be properly disposed of. CFLs, like all florescent bulbs, do contain a small amount of mercury, which means they definitely can’t be thrown in the trash. Every city has different services for recycling, so you’ll need to see what’s offered in your area. LEDs, to our knowledge, do not contain mercury, but the jury may still be out on how to best recycle them.

  5. Wall warts

    Power adaptors, or “wall warts” as they’re affectionately called, are those clunky things you find on many electrical cords, including those attached to lamps and some light fixtures. You’ll notice that they stay warm even when their device is turned off. This is because they in fact draw energy from the wall all the time. One way to green your lighting is to unplug their wall warts when not in use, attached lights to a power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use, or get your hands on a “smart” power strip that knows when the devise is off.

  6. Daylighting

    By far, the best source of light we know is (yes, you guessed it) the sun, which gives off free, full-spectrum light all day. Make the most of daylight by keeping your blinds open (sounds obvious but you might be surprised). If you want to go a little farther, put in some skylights, or, of you are designing a home or doing a renovation, put as many windows on the south-facing side of the house as possible (or north-facing if you live in the southern hemisphere). To take it even further, sunlight can be “piped” inside via fiber optics and other light channeling technologies. [for more on light piping, check out: 1, 2, 3, 4]

  7. Good habits

    As efficient as your lighting equipment might be, it doesn’t make sense to have lights on when no one’s around. Turn out lights in rooms or parts of the house where no one is. Teach your family and friends about it too and it will become second nature. If you want to get a little more exact, follow these rules:

Standard incandescent: turn off even if you leave the room for just seconds. Compact fluorescent: turn off if you leave the room for 3 minutes. Standard fluorescent: turn off if you leave the room for 15 minutes.

 

  1. Do-It-Yourself

    We’re always encouraging people to take matters into their own hands. So much great eco-innovation comes when people create the things they can’t find elsewhere. Lighting is an especially accessible and rewarding thing to tackle. For some inspiration, check out the Cholesterol lamp made from cast-off plastic egg cartons, and the recycled Tube Light. Strawbale building pioneer Glen Hunter made some LED fixtures when he couldn’t find any he liked on the market. Eurolite, the company from which he bought the lighting components, liked his designs so much they decided to sell them.

  2. Dimmers and motion sensors

    Motion sensors can be a good way to keep lights turned off when they’re not needed, and dimmers can give you just the right amount of life, and timers can be set to turn things on and off when needed.

  3. Get green power

    A great way to green your lighting is to buy green power. More and more electric utilities are offering customers a green power option on their bill. Signing up for green power usually means paying a few more dollars a month to support energy in the grid that comes from renewable sources like wind, solar, or biogas. For some more info on how to get green juice, look here, and for the greenest grids in the States, look here. More info is also available in How to Green Your Electricity.

Design element:  Heating and Air conditioning (HVAC), we need to have proper green HVAC systems.  This element is one of the most important in our model, and I was instructed to make sure the media center can be set at a cool 65 degrees. We have very hot summers and can have cold winters. Our media center will be the center of the school so it is important to have a properly heated and cooled area for instruction and learning. 

 

This element was the hardest to research for industrial buildings. I was able to find information on a company which produces solar panels which will convert the light and store the power in batteries and can run our green HVAC unit.  This type of project would be perfect for a science class learning about alternative power sources.

Green Power

http://solargaines.com/commercial.html

Hencken & Gaines, an affiliate company of solargaines, is a contracting and construction management company specializing in commercial buildings. They were founded in 1980. Can you guess who's involved with both companies?

 

Own a building? This is a good idea.

With solar PV and solar hot water systems, your commercial property will become that much more valuable:

  • Economic benefit – Offset and reduce current utility bills and add value to your property
  • Environmental benefit – Reduce your building's carbon footprint
  • Public Relations benefit - Generate goodwill by promoting renewable, sustainable and clean energy
  • Competitive benefit – Give yourself a marketing edge as economic and environmental benefits can be passed on to tenants
  • Potential to be self-financed through a power purchase agreement

A smooth process.

 

At solargaines, we'll walk you through every step from determining feasibility to final installation. Here's an idea of how things will flow.

  • We'll conduct a telephone interview to determine suitability, finding out things such as:
    • Do you have a southern facing roof or another site available for installation?
    • Are there any issues with age, pitch or type of roofing (slate, tile, metal?)
    • Are there any potential issues with shading? (we'll do a Google Earth analysis while on the phone with you)
  • Next we'll come out and do a site evaluation that includes the following:
    • We'll take measurements including solar pathfinder readings.
    • We'll take photographs of installation/design variables like location of breaker panel, etc.
    • We'll conduct a more in-depth interview with you including collecting copies of utility bills and building plans so that we can custom design a system to best meet your needs.
  • Once the evaluation and planning has been done it's time to design the system and prepare a proposal including a Power Purchase Agreement, if applicable.
  • If yours is a self-financed transaction with a Power Purchase Agreement, we'll work with you to negotiate, structure and execute documents relating to the ownership entity that will be a part of the proposal.
  • After the proposal has help been accepted, we'll order materials and begin scheduling construction/installation.
    • Place purchase orders with vendors
    • Submit plans for permitting
    • Schedule installation and inspections
    • Schedule final commissioning and signoffs from county and utility company
    • Assist with filing of all paperwork related to federal, state and local incentives
    • Assist with financing if requested

Once your system has been commissioned, you get to sit back and enjoy your “double dividend” for the next 25 years…

Frequently asked questions.

  • Will I still need to be connected to my utility company?

    Most likely, yes. The benefit of solar systems is diminished when you go off-grid due to the cost and wastefulness of batteries. Being connected to the grid is a good thing, though. The current mandate for “net metering” makes it a requirement for the utility company to allow you to feed unused electricity that you generate back onto the grid and your meter will run backwards while this occurs. Then when you need more electricity than your system is producing you will draw from the grid and your meter will run as it normally would. The net effect is that you are getting full “retail price” credit for the electricity you “store” out on the grid when not using it.

  • How does a Power Purchase Agreement work?

    The host site will grant an easement to the owner of the array, typically a separate entity created to own the system, and the user of the site will agree to purchase power from the system at a discounted rate for a set period of time, usually 20 years. This arrangement allows the host site (and purchaser of the electricity) to achieve cost savings while the owners of the array earn a return on their investment.

  • Can my roof handle the weight?

    The systems do add additional weight to the load-bearing roof, but the engineering of the racking systems spreads that out and typically makes additional structural support unnecessary.

  • Is the income tax credit applicable to Commercial Systems?

    For commercial solar electric systems, the tax credit has recently been replaced by a direct grant from the US Government. This is beneficial to those with out a tax liability and to those who don’t wish to wait until filing their tax returns.

  • What is a SREC?

    A “REC” is what is known as a renewable energy credit. There was a law passed in the state of Maryland back in 2008 that requires a certain percentage of their power be provided by renewable energy sources. This creates opportunity for the individual consumer since the power companies do not have the in-house renewable energy percentages required by law. This means that they need to buy the rights to your renewable energy production. This is done through a third party that packages up individual producers such as yourself and then sells the aggregate to the power company in a larger package.

  • How do I sell my SREC’s?

    Solargaines will facilitate the sale of your RECs to an aggregator. There are two main contracts that an aggregator will use to purchase RECs. Option one is they will give you a lump sum amount to sign for a fixed amount of years so that they can claim your energy production. The other method is through the dispersal of yearly payments which ends up giving you less up front; however, the amount paid out over the length of the contract will be much greater.

  • Can you mount a solar array on a flat roof without making penetrations?

    Yes, on flat roofs we can use what is called a ballasted system. This is a system that is anchored to the roof using ballast.

  • How do I make sure I am taking advantage of all the solar incentives whether they are state, local, or otherwise?

    We constantly monitor the availability of incentives in any form and make sure to pass those along to our customers.

  • How long do these systems take to install?

    It varies widely depending on the size of the job. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

  • How much space do I need?

    The amount of space depends on the size of the system. But, in general, for a system generating a substantial amount of energy, there will be a significant space requirement. If there is not enough space on the roof to accommodate the required panel area then there are also numerous different types of ground mounting systems available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial HVAC

Lennox Commercial is the leader in business comfort innovation

Superior products and outstanding customer service make Lennox the leading authority in light commercial comfort systems for protecting productivity and profits.

Enter Lennox Commercial

 

 

 

Design element:  Power Saving measures, this is a very important element of design due to the environmental impact and the cost saving measure. 

Researching this element was the most fun. There are many ways to decrease power consumption but shutting down the systems when not in use is the best for the environment and for the systems.  Students who are very techno savvy would be able to research this element with ease. This would be a perfect project for a technology teacher to assign. 

 

 

 

April 21, 2008

Miami-Dade pinches PC power consumption

2008 Green 15: Power management system saves Miami-Dade County Public Schools millions through scheduled shutdowns of idle computers

By Ephraim Schwartz | InfoWorld

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If one of the underlying tenets of thinking ecologically is to conserve resources, then Miami-Dade County Public Schools is thinking green two times over.

Not only did it deploy an IT system that does scheduled shutdowns of 80,000 computers across 370 sites, but it did so by reusing software originally designed for patch management.

Truth to tell, the fourth-largest school district in the United States got a little help from BigFix, the vendor that Miami-Dade has been using since 2004 to manage the desktop PCs accessed by a population of 345,000 students and 22,000 teachers in a total of 400 schools and administrative sites.

Because every device is already connected to the asset and patch management system, Miami-Dade was able to leverage the management technology that pushes down software updates and use it to also control when computers are turned on and off.

Additionally, because the BigFix system was already in place, it cost Miami-Dade only $2 more per desktop to add the power management component.

Tom Sims, director of network systems at Miami-Dade, said the district's electric bill of $80 million a year made centralized power management for PCs a no-brainer. Sims said the system allows PCs to be shut down according to a schedule for each site in the school district.

"Some buildings have night schools, so we work from template-driven parameters, especially the off and on hours for schools with adult classes," said Sims.

The system is managed through a console layered on top of an SQL database. A separate component queries the database and sends out reports on PC usage and associated costs based on cost per kilowatt hour.

All told, the power management system has cut the time that PCs are turned on and consuming electricity by about half, down from being kept on for an average of 20.75 hours per day to 10.3 hours per day. When the system shut down almost all of the PCs during spring break, Miami-Dade saved $1 million for that week alone.

In terms of comparing the district's power consumption to nationwide averages, Miami-Dade went from being in the 35th percentile, at $461,655 per month, to the 4th percentile, at $243,157 per month.

Sims estimates that PC power management will save the district at least $2 million per year, but he isn't stopping there. Now Sims is investigating how to link the system into an overall energy management system that controls the HVAC systems as well.

Ephraim Schwartz is an editor at large at InfoWorld. He also writes the Reality Check blog.

Tags: Green IT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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