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Boulder Valley School District Launches Net-Zero Energy Buildings Project - Over 50 Buildings!

Allison Friedman MA, United States 0 Ratings 98 Discussions 131 Group posts

Posted by: Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

Via Clean Technica, originally via Rocky Mountain Institute:

The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) is launching a program to have its portfolio of over 50 school buildings transition to net-zero energy as a group and achieve a 20% energy reduction over 2008 levels by 2019 - and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases and by 2050. Over 70 percent of BVSD’s 4.8 million square feet of buildings are over 30 years old, so the program includes retro-commissioning and deep retrofits as well as new construction. The district partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute to plan and implement the project and to create guides and plans other districts can learn from, nationwide. Key to the success of Boulder's effort appear to be early and advance planning, clear agreement on priorities, and inclusion/integration of efforts.

Program benefits include long-term financial savings for the district, significant energy and therefore pollution reductions, and the possibility of educational and societal benefits for the district and beyond.

According to Jeff Medwetz, Project Manager of Energy Systems for BVSD, “If we reach all our goals in the bond, the entire district would be 29 percent more efficient, saving nearly $500,000 a year in utility bills,” he says. “These savings could be used directly in the classrooms.” Victor Olgyay, a principal in RMI’s buildings practice and who has two kids in school in the district adds. "For us to be increasing their awareness of energy issues, putting sustainability and ethical qualities front and center, helps with the overall pedagogy of our kids learning about energy issues and being able to take it out into the world.”

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