The Building As a Tool

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Richard J. Elementary is a Net-Zero energy campus, with the energy models projecting energy usage for the whole building at 18.3 kBTU/sqft/year.

Our campus is LEED Gold Certified from USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council). Some of the sustainable features in the building include:

  • A very efficient building envelope with R-24 exterior walls and an R-30 roof with majority of the roof being highly reflective.

  • A geothermal HVAC system.

  • LED light fixtures.

  • Efficient plumbing fixtures.

  • 1096, Photovoltaic (Solar) Panels on roof equating to 358,392W DC STC and generating just over 519,000 kWh per year.

  • 2,750W Wind Turbine used as an educational tool.

  • Compact efficient plan that allows majority of the spaces in the project to be day lit with windows and/or skylights and have views to the outside.

  • A 20,000 gallon underground tank for rainwater collection to be used to flush plumbing urinals and toilets and a 10,000 gallon aboveground tank for irrigation and serving as an educational tool.

  • Highly durable local and recycled materials.

  • Sustainable educational tools which include:

    • Digital interactive informational display system of building’s energy use, renewable energy generation and water consumption.

    • Outdoor lab with experiment tables and planter boxes for gardening.

    • Educational opportunities in landscape include rainwater tank with level gauge, native gardening opportunities, a human sun dial, wind turbine and solar panel learning station.

95% of the project team members including architects, engineers and construction managers for the Richard J Lee Elementary School were LEED accredited professionals and have experience with designing very high performing, energy efficient buildings.