The National Trust for Historic Preservation will demonstrate how to improve energy efficiency in older buildings in a rehab of a 19th-Century former school building in Denver. Constructed in 1885, the Emerson School is two-story masonry structure, with a one-story “cottage school” added in 1917. The 20,000 sf timber-frame building has thick masonry walls, large windows, and high ceilings.
The Trust is spending $2.1 million in hard building costs to convert the school to a center for historic preservation groups and other nonprofits. Work will include installing a geothermal HVAC system, repairing original wood windows, replacing inefficient light fixtures, and opening up the interior to restore passive ventilation and natural lighting schemes. Models suggest that energy consumption will be more than 40% below the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline after reconstruction. The trust has also committed to a target of net-zero resource consumption at the school by 2030.