Budgets, codes, and technologies are constantly shifting and evolving. These days, even the classrooms are often portable. Staying one step ahead will depend on your knowledge of current design options and how to integrate them into the space.
Increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the energy consumption of existing buildings can have four times the environmental impact as compared to the installation of renewable energy, according to ASHRAE.
Changes to the purpose and scope that reflect advances in green buildings over the last 10 years are being proposed for ASHRAE/IES/USGBC/ICC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.