You’ve probably seen the Energy Star label on household appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, but it can also apply to schools. Zachry Middle School recently earned the Energy Star label for 2014 and will receive a decal and certificate to display at the school.
Energy Star is an Environmental Protection Agency program that encourages organizations to track and manage their energy use. The label can be applied to products and buildings. Buildings are rated on a scale from 0 to 100, and those rated 75 or above are eligible for the Energy Star label. There are several categories for buildings, including a category for K-12 schools.
Cleary Zimmerman designed the school’s new mechanical plant and completed the Energy Star application for the District. The plant’s design, which included installation of magnetic bearing chillers, earned a $97,500 rebate from CPS Energy and helped Zachry earn an Energy Star score of 86 out of 100.
“In Northside, we’ve always been proud of our Energy Management program,” says Leroy San Miguel, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations. “The District’s commitment to long-term energy conservation is reflected in our construction standards and has resulted in savings to our taxpayers. Earning the designation of Energy Star serves as verification of our commitment on a national level.”
Other Northside schools also qualify for Energy Star based on energy data collected, but the cost to verify each facility ranges from $500 to $1,000. Warren High School and Martin Elementary School earned the Energy Star label in 2013.
A licensed professional must verify that a school or building is eligible to apply for the Energy Star label. They verify that all energy use is accounted for accurately, that the building characteristics have been properly reported (including the square footage of the building), that the building is fully functional in accordance with industry standards, and that each of the indoor environment criteria has been met.
To search the list of other Energy Star buildings, click here.