Districts, projects, individuals honored for driving ZNE in new and existing projects
California is leading the nation in the transformation of K-12 schools and community colleges to zero net energy (ZNE) performance. To honor early innovation and leadership in this market, nine inaugural ZNE School Leadership Awards were given on behalf of the California Investor owned Utilities Prop 39 ZNE School Pilot Program to showcase the people, buildings and districts that are driving this new standard for school environments. ZNE schools are high performance buildings that combine energy efficiency and renewable energy resources to produce at least as much energy as they consume annually.
The awards were announced during the 10 year anniversary California Green Schools and Community Colleges Summit in Pasadena on Nov. 2 as part of the summit’s leadership awards event. An esteemed judging panel of industry representatives reviewed applications based on demonstrated achievement that a project has attained or is on track to achieve ZNE performance or is providing leadership and a model for others to learn from.
With energy bills at California’s K-12 public schools totaling more than $700 million a year, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC) Consumer Energy Center, innovative energy-saving solutions are needed to manage costs. Schools built and renovated to ZNE performance have substantially lower energy costs and over time save money on energy bills that can be spent on students and programs. K- 12 schools and community colleges also represent key opportunities for ZNE projects that provide better, healthier learning environments for students. In California, local utilities and state agencies are working together to support more districts in pursuit of zero net energy goals under the Proposition 39 ZNE School Retrofit Pilot Program, which provides technical and financial help as well as this award.
Award winners under three categories of Visionary Districts, Outstanding Buildings and ZNE Leaders represent the changemakers driving ZNE schools in California and include:
Recognizes districts that have utilized policies or plans that results in larger scale advancement of zero energy buildings.
OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (OUSD) | DISTRICT LEADERSHIP ZNE
An early adopter and leader in K-12 sustainable design and construction and ZNE, OUSD has had tremendous Board of Education support for facilities to pursue these goals. Successes include the La Escuelita Education Center, including an elementary school, high school, and child development center, which was designed and constructed as a living laboratory for students and an award-winning example of emerging zero net energy performance and district plans to modernize Fremont High School to ZNE.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (SDUSD) | DISTRICT LEADERSHIP ZNE
SDUSD is taking a leadership role in adopting ZNE in its portfolio of facilities. The district’s “Dream Big” initiative is part of its “Vision 2020” that sets the groundwork for reducing the environmental impact of new and existing facilities. This movement, fully supported and funded by the Board of Education, has given the green light to implement zero net energy strategies throughout the district.
Spotlights ZNE verified, ZNE emerging and ultra-low energy projects at K-12 schools and community college campuses.
STEVENS LIBRARY, SACRED HEART ELEMENTARY SCHOOL | ZNE VERIFIED BUILDING
The Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton is the first school building in California and the first U.S. library to achieve Net Zero Energy Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). In addition to meeting ILFI’s rigorous requirements of exceptional energy conservation, the building was part of the PG&E Zero Net Energy Pilot Project, which measured actual performance over a calendar year, and verified this project as a “net positive” energy building.
LA HARBOR COLLEGE SCIENCE COMPLEX | ZNE EMERGING BUILDING
Since its opening, the Harbor Science Complex has performed better than expected generating more electricity than the building consumes. The building is highly efficient even while housing several laboratory classrooms. This project started with a unique approach called Zero-Plus and considered the human experience and balancing strategies at various scales—individual, building, campus and community. Performance targets were set and an integrated design process was followed to implement ZNE goals.
Honoring the leaders, both individuals who inspire others on the path to ZNE and project teams that work effectively together to achieve ZNE goals.
JOHN DIFFENDERFER, AEDIS ARCHITECTS | INDIVIDUAL ZNE LEADERSHIP
John has been a leader in the movement for ZNE schools in California and is actively working on three ZNE campus projects and long range facilities masterplans across the state. Those include the Evergreen and Campbell K-8 School Districts which have a policy goal to reduce energy costs by 80% and East Side Union High School District, which is addressing this issue as part of its current master planning effort. John is also part of the DSA’s 7x7x7 Energy & Water initiative.
DAVID KANEDA, INTEGRAL GROUP | INDIVIDUAL ZNE LEADERSHIP
David Kaneda has been an innovator in zero net energy building design for over a decade starting with the design of the first U.S. ZNE commercial office in 2005. He now has designed more than 40 ZNE projects including 12 ZNE school campuses and six individual ZNE school buildings. As an electrical engineer, David’s focus has been on developing concepts for electrical systems starting with energy efficiency and renewable energy and expanding into: daylighting, circadian cycles, microgrids, healthier materials, and smart building controls.
EHDD ARCHITECTS | FIRM LEADERSHIP IN ZNE BUILDINGS
EHDD Architects began designing zero net energy educational facilities in 2001 for the Audubon Society’s Learning Center in Los Angeles. In the 15 years since, six of their school clients have partnered to pursue ZNE buildings with projects completed, in construction, or about to start construction. EHDD is striving to design all their buildings to reach zero energy and for the last three years has been the only firm whose entire portfolio of projects met the AIA 2030 Challenge.
INTEGRAL GROUP | FIRM LEADERSHIP IN ZNE BUILDINGS
The Integral Group team has worked with community colleges, K–12 public schools and private schools throughout California to successfully reach high performance and net zero energy goals. They have designed over a dozen ZNE K-12 projects, and are working with PG&E on their Net Zero Schools Pilot Program. Integral Group, also advised two of the seven teams for DSA’s 7x7x7 program, which focused on developing and illustrating concepts that demonstrate how school campuses of different types in different climate zones could achieve zero net energy.
POINT ENERGY INNOVATIONS | FIRM LEADERSHIP IN ZNE BUILDINGS
Point Energy Innovations (PEI) is a leader in driving schools toward ZNE. The firm’s design of the Newcastle Elementary School, under the Prop 39 ZNE School Retrofit Pilot Program, went well beyond a simple retrofit coupled with massive photovoltaics. The team relentlessly pursued deep green measures achieving an energy use intensity of 16 (saving 36%), providing cost-effective ZNE as a package, and a healthier, quality environment for students and teachers. Principals at PEI have developed nearly 30 ZNE buildings, including the J. Craig Venter Institute, a ZNE emerging lab in San Diego.
ABOUT THE ZNE SCHOOLS LEADERSHIP AWARDS
To support California’s ambitious energy efficiency goals, a Proposition 39 ZNE Schools Retrofit Pilot Program is providing existing schools ZNE financial resources that can help transform some of the state’s K-12 and community college buildings to ZNE. The ZNE Schools Leadership Awards are part of this Proposition 39 pilot effort and is supported by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Company. Supporting partners include the California Public Utilities Commission, New Buildings Institute and Green Technology.
Judges for the inaugural ZNE School Leadership Awards represent state agencies, green school nonprofits, professional industry associations, and energy efficiency interests and include Gregg Ander, Sustainable Building Industry Council; Armand Angulo, California Energy Commission; Dan Burgoyne, Department of General Services; Cathy Fogel; California Public Utilities Commission; Dian Grueneich, Energy Commissioner Emeritus; Stephany Mason, Collaborative for High Performance Schools; Diane McLeanAIA Committee on the Environment; Dennis Murphy, US Green Building Council; Dana Papke Waters, California Air Resources Board. Learn more at www.newbuildings.org/ZNE-Awards