Photo by Benjamin Benschneider Benjamin Benschneider

The Bertschi School’s Living Science Building, Seattle, has sustainable features that are all visible to students. These include net-zero energy, net-zero water, a solar array and rainwater cistern. (Architect: KMD Architects)

Taking Green to new Levels

Schools and universities are raising the bar of what can be done to provide sustainably designed facilities that are managed in an environmentally responsible way.

The architects and engineers had sweated over the details of the energy consumption at Richardsville Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ky., in an effort to deliver a net-zero-energy building.

But after the facility opened its doors to students in 2010, the engineers who were monitoring the facility’s energy numbers were dismayed by an unplanned and unwanted spike in electricity that threatened their net-zero goals. Had they miscalculated their energy projections or used

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