ATLANTA — Guidance is available to help design teams constructing K-12 school buildings cut annual energy use by 50 percent or more using off-the-shelf technology. To help ensure schools receive an A+ in energy efficiency, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) encourages owners, engineers, designers, architects, and others on the building team to download a free guide: Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building.

The guide is the second to be released in a series that provides recommendations to achieve 50 percent energy savings when compared with the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Advanced Energy Design Guides, or AEDGs, allow owners, contractors, consulting engineers, architects, and designers to easily achieve advanced levels of energy savings without detailed energy modeling or analyses. Written in partnership with ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the U.S. Department of Energy, the guides are available for free in electronic form. “Significant research demonstrates that the quality of the physical environment affects student performance,” said Shanti Pless, chair of the steering committee. “An environment that includes appropriate lighting, sound, temperature, humidity, cleanliness, color, and air quality can help students learn better. In many cases, improving these attributes can also reduce energy use.” The new guide features easy-to-follow recommendations for various climate zones and how-to-implement tips via a series of real-life school construction case studies. Also included is information on integrated design, including best practices as a necessary component in achieving 50 percent energy and the inclusion of a performance path that offers guidance for early-stage energy modeling and annual energy use targets to help with goal-setting. Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building is available as a free download at

Publication date: 11/21/2011