New York’s first net-zero school will be a sustainability lab for city school system
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An elementary school on Staten Island will be the first net-zero energy school in New York City and the Northeast. The 68,000 sf, two-story building will serve 444 pre-K through fifth grade students. The school is designed to use half the energy of a typical New York public school. Construction will be completed in 2015.
Designed to comply with New York City’s School Construction Authority guidelines instead of LEED, the project will be used as a "sustainability lab" by the authority. The building has an ultra-tight high-performance building envelope, daylit corridors, energy-efficient lighting, efficient kitchen equipment, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a greenhouse and vegetable garden. Other design features include a rooftop covered with PVs, geothermal system for heating and cooling, and a thermal solar hot water system. Schools are good candidates for net-zero energy because they use less energy than other kinds of buildings, consuming about 17% of total US non-residential energy.The days are short, there are long vacations, and schools are often used less during the summer.