Tag Archives: Green Building

npower Funds National Trust Community Led Project

An npower funded project will see two historic villages owned by the National Trust attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy bills as part of a community led programme. The initiative, which is similar to the government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge, will show how major energy efficiency improvements are achievable in homes of any age – not just modern buildings – with savings possible from the biggest mansion to the average family house.

The low carbon village pilot – supported by £600,000 funding from the National Trust’s energy partner npower – is being trialled at the National Trust owned villages of Coleshill in Oxfordshire and the Wallington Estate in Northumberland. As well as funding the project, npower is also giving advice on effective energy saving tips for tenants of the properties.

The project involves 62 houses at Coleshill and 73 cottages and 14 farms at Wallington, with properties dating from the 1850s and 1750s respectively. Through community engagement, each village will decide what measures to take to reduce their carbon footprints with the added incentive of making savings to their energy bills.

Residents at Coleshill wanted to find out their current energy consumption and carbon emissions as a starting point so that any success could be measured. On assessment, the average carbon footprint for homes and appliances was 7.57 tonnes of CO2 each year, slightly higher than the national average of 6.15 tonnes.

At Wallington, the community’s overall carbon footprint for heating and electricity was 879 tonnes of CO2, equating to 9.5 tonnes of CO2 per property per year. The reason for this higher emission level is because, like a third of all rural areas in the UK, Wallington is off the gas network. The village therefore has to rely on carbon-intensive oil and electricity for heating which pushes up carbon levels as well as the bills.

Celia Robbins, the National Trust’s project manager at Wallington, said: “By introducing our energy efficiency measures and helping people understand their energy use we hope to make a real difference to both people’s pockets and to the environment.

“Installing sheep’s wool loft insulation and improving the efficiency of off-grid electricity generation will reduce Wallington’s carbon footprint by more than 10%

“On advice from npower’s energy advisor, we are also encouraging residents to monitor their electricity with a Smart Meter which shows how much any appliance uses every six seconds. Using the display can be quite a revelation because although electricity is invisible this helps people see exactly how much they use and the associated costs.”

Via EPR Network
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The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As ‘Living Laboratories’ To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Climate modelling undertaken by the Forestry Commission suggests that by 2080, the temperature in Manchester will mirror that of the current climate in Naples. This will mean that during the height of summer, the temperature in a typical office building will reach up to 28°C.

The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As 'Living Laboratories' To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood said: “Although the battle to gain acceptance of global warming is now almost won, the task of gaining a clear understanding of what practically and realistically can be done to adapt to its impacts is to a large extent still the topic of much debate and uncertainty.”

Climate modelling predicts changes to the rainfall in the UK, which will become heavy and more infrequent compared with the fine and persistent rainfall the UK is used to. Such changes in the climate will have a significant impact on the way people live and work.

The Eco Cities project will explore methods of adapting existing office space to the effects of climate change to ensure comfortable working conditions can be maintained, without relying on energy hungry technology.

Working with a global network of individuals and organisations, the project will provide Greater Manchester with a blueprint for a climate change adaptation strategy that will become a resource for planners and other relevant stakeholders with a responsibility for action in this field.

In addition to the adaptation of commercial property, it will also equip Greater Manchester with knowledge and understanding on how its public spaces and homes need to adapt.

Michael commented, “Reducing our output of CO2 is a task requiring government action but of equal importance is a clear understanding at city and individual level as to the vital role that they have to play in adapting our urban areas to a changing climate.

“Eco Cities aims to make a major contribution to the adaptation debate and to give clear and scientifically verified guidance to local government, companies and individuals.

About Eco Cities:
The project seeks to provide Greater Manchester, by the end of 2011, with a climate change adaptation blueprint. This will be based on leading scientific research, extensive stakeholder engagement and best practice examples of new programmes successfully piloted during the project. Eco Cities is funded through charitable donations from Bruntwood and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.

Via EPR Network
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Monarch School’s New Green Building Earns EPA’s Rare DEES Designation & Saves $170,000

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program last week recognized The Monarch School’s new green building as exemplary with the EPA’s rare and coveted “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” (DEES) designation. The school’s Chrysalis building achieved a score of 86 out of 100, meaning it ranks among the top 14 percent of buildings in the United States. This building is designed to use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, saving more than $170,000 and nine million kilowatt-hours in energy over the next 25 years. The efficient design also qualified The Monarch School as the first private school to receive a cash rebate — $2,300 — in CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE program.

Monarch School's New Green Building

In the coming weeks, the Chrysalis building will become the new campus for The Monarch School, a national leader in therapeutic education for hundreds of children with neurological differences, many of which are related to autism.

“We’re excited about our students’ future, and about promoting a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Head of School and Founder Dr. Marty Webb. “As we began planning the future of the thousands of people who will use this building in the next century, we were delighted to find that energy-efficient design could be another affordable, practical way for The Monarch School to serve more families, better.”

The Chrysalis building will use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, which will save more than $170,000 in energy bills over the next 25 years. The 9,000,000 kilowatt-hours saved are the annual equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 1,200 passenger vehicles, or the electrical usage of more than 900 homes.

Dr. Webb said, “This DEES designation confirmed that our early decisions to bring together an experienced ’green team’ have helped our donors’ contributions go farther today and over the coming century.” The sustainable design team included:

– Architects: Jackson & Ryan Architects
– Green Building Consultants: Green Building Services, Inc. (GBS)
– MEP Engineers: Wylie & Associates
– Energy Modeling: BVM Engineering
– Civil Engineers: Brewer & Escalante
– Structural Engineers: Matrix Structural Engineers
– Acoustical Engineers: HFP Acoustical Consultants
– Landscape Architects: TBG Partners; Home & Habitat
– Green Electricity Broker and Sustainability Consultant: Momentum Bay Associates LP (d.b.a., GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS)

The school also earned a cash incentive of more than $2,300 from CenterPoint Energy’s SCORE Program, which rewards participants for incorporating energy-efficient design into new and existing buildings, specifically for more efficient lighting, HVAC and building envelope systems. The Monarch School was the first private school allowed to join the program.

The Chrysalis building is expected to help the utility avoid nearly 6,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, and reduce peak demand for electricity significantly, by saving:

– more than 12 kW in electric demand above ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 requirements for lighting and HVAC, and
– 30,558 kWh/yr in energy, roughly the annual electricity used by three average homes in Houston

The efficient design complements the school’s ongoing sustainable operations strategies of conservation, energy efficiency, hybrid transportation and green power. For example, The Monarch School’s two existing campuses approached a zero carbon footprint over the past three years, largely by purchasing 100 percent green power. The new campus has also contracted for 100% green power, continuing The Monarch School’s commitment to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and 100% Purchasers group.

“With electricity and green power prices at six to 10-year lows, our little nonprofit has found it quite economical and practical to approach carbon neutrality and strive with others for clean air and a healthy, sustainable Texas,” said Dr. Webb. “While market research, case studies and anecdotes have confirmed a zero to three percent premium for the design of green schools and green buildings over the past decade, this DEES designation confirms that our building’s energy savings alone may yield the equivalent of nearly a 14 percent-off coupon on our design professionals’ fees. That’s a healthy value.

“When other school administrators ask ‘How was The Monarch School able to secure cash rebates, energy savings and avoided emissions?’ I answer two factors: a great team and great tools,” shared Dr. Webb. “First, our design team members pursued exemplary design throughout the project. For example, we committed to pursuing LEED® for New Construction certification for not only the Chrysalis Building, but also the entire campus’ future buildings.

“Second, we wanted to articulate these benefits for our students, families and donors and set ongoing operating budget goals,” continued Dr. Webb. “The EPA’s Target Finder tool and DEES designation helped us quantify and communicate much of the LEED-NC benefits long before we could receive LEED certification for the campus. In fact, the energy modeling required by DEES may have propelled the project into a higher level of LEED certification.”

Dr. Webb concluded by saying, “Achieving the DEES designation is still quite rare nationwide and in Texas, with just over twenty DEES buildings in Texas. What that fact means, though, is that our team merely followed the lead of other rational, forward-thinking Texas neighbors. And, that decision really paid off. ‘Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR’ clearly makes business sense for commercial offices and even schools.”

About The Monarch School
Founded in 1997 by Dr. Marty Webb, The Monarch School is now one of the nation’s leading schools that provides an innovative, therapeutic education for children ages 3 to 25 years old. It serves the needs of children with neurological differences, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, PDD-NOS), Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, Mood Disorders (Bipolar Disorder, Depression), Anxiety Disorders, and other neurological differences. With a ratio of 2.5 students for each teacher/mental health professional, the school develops individualized plans to help each student make progress in the school’s four core goals: executive functions, relationship development, self-regulation/self-awareness and academic competence.

Via EPR Network
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