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2016 ZNE School Leadership Awards

California leads the U.S. in the transformation of K-12 schools and community colleges to achieving zero net energy (ZNE) performance that combines energy efficiency and renewable energy resources to produce at least as much energy as they consume annually. California’s K-12 public schools’ energy bills total more than $700 million a year. Schools built and renovated to ZNE performance have substantially lowered energy costs and over time saved money on energy bills. During the 10-year anniversary of the California Green Schools and Community Colleges Summit in Pasadena, California, nine inaugural ZNE School Leadership Awards were given to districts, projects, and individuals to honor early innovation and leadership in driving the new standard for school environments.

WRNS Studio architects cleverly designed the plumbing room housing the rainwater harvesting and greywater systems to serve as a visual and accessible classroom at the Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools. (Photo by Bruce Damonte)

WRNS Studio architects cleverly designed the plumbing room housing the rainwater harvesting and greywater systems to serve as a visual and accessible classroom at the Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools. (Photo by Bruce Damonte)

There are three categories of winners: Visionary Districts, Outstanding Buildings and ZNE Leaders represent the changemakers driving ZNE schools in California and include:

Visionary Districts – Recognizes districts that have utilized policies or plans that results in larger scale advancement of zero energy buildings.

  • Oakland Unified School District
  • San Diego Unified School District

Outstanding Buildings – Recognizes ZNE verified, ZNE emerging and ultra-low energy projects at K-12 schools and community college campuses.

  • Stevens Library at the Sacred Heart Elementary School, 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).
  • Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex, implemented zero-plus strategies and generates more electricity than the building consumes.

ZNE Leaders – 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
  • David Kaneda, Integral Group
  • EHDD Architects
  • Integral Group
  • Point Energy Innovations
The Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex achieved NZE and LEED Platinum certifications, avoiding 600,000 +/- pounds of CO2 emissions and offsetting 2,000,000 +/- pounds of CO2 by ZNE strategies. (Photo courtesy hGA Architects and Engineers)

The Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex achieved NZE and LEED Platinum certifications, avoiding 600,000 +/- pounds of CO2 emissions and offsetting 2,000,000 +/- pounds of CO2 by ZNE strategies. (Photo courtesy hGA Architects and Engineers)

Proposition 39 ZNE Schools Retrofit Pilot Program provides 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.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for leading us towards ZNE and plus!

Further information on the award and winners can be found on New Buildings Institute’s website.

About Mignon O'Young

Mignon O’Young, Editor, is a California licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and Certified Green Building Professional with more than 15 years of experience in the design, construction, green building, and affordable housing development industries.
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