Net Zero in Rhode Island

A newly built high school in Newport is Rhode Island’s first net-zero-energy state facility.

The Paul Crowley East Bay MET Center is one of a network of small, public high schools that focus on individualized learning. The Rhode Island Department of Education says the 16,800-square-foot school houses 180 students.

Among the features that enable the Crowley campus to achieve net-zero status are a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system, an airtight building enclosure, a super-insulated shell, an innovative ventilation system, a geothermal heat pump and water-efficient fixtures.

The school also will emphasize sustainability by using the facility as a learning tool through a recycling program, an energy-tracking system, a program to test samples of drinking water, and a school/community garden.

“The staff and students of the Paul Crowley East Bay MET School are committed to the efficient use of the facility and to exploring innovative ways of using the building to teach and learn about sustainability, green technologies, and the environment,” the education department says.

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