ATLANTA - As school boards and superintendents across the United States look to utilize economic recovery stimulus funds, projects focused on improving energy efficiency can result in long-term savings for school districts. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) notes that theAdvanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildingscan help in achieving that efficiency.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, provides significant funding and financing opportunities to modernize, renovate, and repair public schools. Under the “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund,” up to $48.3 billion can be allocated to schools. An additional $25 billion in eligible bonds also have been authorized.

ASHRAE and other leading building industry organizations have developed theAdvanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildingsto provide recommendations for achieving 30 percent energy savings over the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999. According to ASHRAE, estimates show that a full 16 percent of school districts’ controllable costs is spent on energy.

“Beyond energy savings, by implementing the recommendations, schools may benefit from an improved learning environment, reduced operating costs, reduced environmental and climate impacts, and enhanced teaching opportunities on the environment,” said ASHRAE President Bill Harrison.

Details on the stimulus funding for educational facilities can be found on the Department of Education’s Recovery page ( Copies of theAdvanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildingsare available for free download at or print copies may be ordered from the ASHRAE Bookstore at

Publication date:04/13/2009