SfL+a Architects has announced that two of its energy-positive schools Spring Creek Middle School in Seven Springs, North Carolina and Grantham Middle School in Goldsboro, North Carolina have each earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® 100 certification for superior energy performance.
“These schools continue to demonstrate true environmental leadership by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are proven to contribute to climate change,” stated Jean Lupinacci, ENERGY STAR Director for Commercial & Industrial Buildings. “Today, 45 percent of U.S. emissions are attributable to commercial and industrial buildings, which is why improving energy efficiency is so critical for our future.”
ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance.
“We’re honored to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance at Grantham Middle School and appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been involved in its efficient operation,” said Dr. Michael Dunsmore, Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent. “Saving energy is just one of the ways we show our community we care, and that we’re committed to doing our part to protect the environment and public health, both today and for future generations.”
To achieve this success, the builders equipped the school roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels that produce roughly 10-20 percent more power than the schools consume, enabling the owner to sell back power to the grid. Other energy-saving systems include an HVAC geothermal system and super insulated wall and roof assemblies, coupled with high-performance glazing and extensive use of LED lighting.
SfL+a Architects was the lead architect for Spring Creek Middle School and Grantham Middle School featuring 95,945 square feet and 86,346 square feet, respectively, designed to house 650-800 students.
“We are committed to delivering schools that help the future of our youth,” said Robbie Ferris, president and CEO of SfL+a Architects. “The future of our youth is not limited to the type of education they are receiving but also the way in which we treat the environment and the communities we live in.”
On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants use 35 percent less energy, cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers—all without sacrifices in performance or comfort.