Many schools are taking the pledge of the Green Schools Alliance to make their campuses more sustainable and to reduce their carbon footprints by 30% over five years. With net zero emissions, the main goal is to reduce a building’s energy use as much as possible. One big component is reducing the amount of energy being used to heat water. That was the case at King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School Community Complex in Massachusetts, the first net-zero emission school in Massachusetts.

The net-zero emissions school, a LEED Platinum building, is the first project to be constructed under the Net-Zero Cambridge Plan. The campus includes an elementary school and middle school, school district offices, a public library branch, a community swimming pool, and preschool and after-school programs. It accounts for 273,000 square feet and sits on 4 acres.

One high-performance feature included in the project was tankless electric water heating throughout the school and complex.

Eemax, a division of Rheem, installed 150 LavAdvantage™ tankless electric water heaters, 10 Three Phase units, and three SafeAdvantage™ units throughout the campus.

With tankless electric water heating, the only time energy is consumed is when the water is turned on. There is no water or energy waste waiting for hot water to reach the faucet. Tankless electric water heaters can be installed at or near the point-of-use, eliminating costly recirculation loops and the energy waste created by generating 24/7 hot water. Plus, as only one water line is necessary, there is a significant savings in materials and labor during construction.

In addition to providing energy savings, tankless electric water heating is a zero greenhouse gas emission solution. No venting is required, as no fossil fuels are burned.