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Sustainable Solutions for K-12 Operations

by Saheed Imoru, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Sustainability

Designing a new building or retrofitting equipment with energy or sustainability in mind is often an afterthought. There are many opportunities for long-term improvement of a building’s efficiency and occupant comfort that are overlooked. Both occupant comfort and operating cost can be improved with the implementation of simple low-cost to no-cost sustainable design strategies.

Dripping Springs ISD – Walnut Springs Elementary School | Corgan Associates | Dripping Springs, Texas

Utility expenses (electricity water, gas) can be the second biggest yearly expense for K-12 owners. Very often, the least expensive building systems are not the best for long-term success in terms of operating expense, occupant comfort, and maintenance efforts. Life cycle cost analyses are relatively low-cost investments that are an effective tool to help designers and owners make the best-informed decisions possible. Life cycle cost analysis paired with energy analysis provides designers and owners with the best information to make the most informed decision possible.

Figure 1: The chart above is an example of an early design phase analysis of various energy ECMs (energy conservation measures). These tools are used to optimize early design decisions in order to maximize performance with minimal cost impact.

Figure 2: Example of cost difference of operating cost.

Figure 3: Screen capture of one of many tools DBR uses to perform analysis.

Energy efficiency can be low-hanging fruit for K-12 facility owners to lower utility bills and operating costs. DBR is eager to help K-12 designers and owners make informed decisions regarding return on investment for energy efficiency and sustainable design measures. Early planning for sustainability and energy, leads to the long-term performance of buildings as well as operating cost savings!

Hero image: Lake Dallas ISD – Lake Dallas High School | VLK Architects | Corinth, Texas

Read about our Sustainability services 

Saheed Imoru
Director of Sustainability