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New Online Course for Designing Zero-Energy K-12 Schools

Aug. 6, 2020
E-learning course is now available from industry groups to help schools achieve cost-effective advanced levels of energy savings.


A new e-learning course is now available from industry organizations to demonstrate how to achieve cost-effective advanced levels of energy savings in schools.

The e-earning course, “Achieving Zero-Energy Building Design,” is adapted from the “Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings” and establishes a set of energy performance goals for achieving zero-energy in all climate zones, in both site and source energy.

The course was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in partnership with ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society and the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be offered through each partnering organization’s e-learning platform.

"The goal of this e-learning course is to prepare engineers, architects, designers, building owners and other practitioners with in-depth knowledge to improve skills in high-efficiency building design," said Paul Torcellini, project committee chair. "There are many incentives for schools to reach zero-energy usage, including budget benefits of lowered energy consumption and increased student performance due to a healthier learning environment."

The eight-hour course consists of 12 modules with content that applies to commercial buildings, including case studies that focus on zero-energy K-12 schools. The format includes open-ended thought questions, reference lists for additional reading, real-life case studies, video testimonials from design professionals, and separate learning paths for architects and engineers. Certificates of completion will be available for download for the successfully completed course.

To purchase the course, visit