Sustainable vs. Energy Consumption
This is Part Two of last week's blog: http://blog.aia.org/smallfirms/2009/04/leed_vs_sustainable.html
While visiting the school where I’m on the Board (yes, my kids go to that school so I’m there a lot), I had a discussion with the business manager. He told me the local power company asked if they could come to the campus and do an “audit” of the energy consumption at the new 17,000 SF buildings. The power company reps came out, walked the campus, looked at the buildings, looked at the MDP in the original main building, looked at the electrical and mechanical rooms in the new buildings, made a few notes, and left.
Hmmm… The next week (as I understand the story) the business manager got back in contact with the power company to get a read on their findings. Here’s where the story gets good. Apparently, the power consumption for the entire campus has gone down since the 17,000 SF buildings began occupancy in September 2008. Mind you, the new buildings (all 17,000 SF of them) replaced 4 modular units (YeeHaa -3 double wides, 1 triple wide, totaling 7,240 SF). The campus has a net gain of 9,760 square feet and the power consumption has gone down by some 35-40% (at least that’s with 7 months history… we’ll see what the Georgia summer does).
Analysis: White TPO roof, R25+/- roof insulation, icynene insulation at 6” metal stud exterior walls, fritt and insulated glazing in thermal break storefront windows as punched openings, CIP foundation walls (lower level of building half recessed into hillside), ground-source heat pumps providing 40 tons of cooling to FCUs with ionic/UV air scrubbers on return air. It's pretty awesome that the building is performing this well. We’ll see what the summer does but we all have high hopes.
Would I make the same recommendation again? Absolutely! For this private school, it would have been nice to have bragging rights to LEED certification but it is my hope that, based on the excellent building performance, the schedule for subsequent buildings on the master plan can be accelerated, based on the realized operational cost savings now.
—Lisa Stacholy, AIA