Alex Baumgardner, marketing and commuications manager with Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group, wrote an article for the International Living Future Institute’s Trim Tab magazine.
In the blog, Alex discusses Tetra Tech’s work in designing a net-zero energy educational facility alongside architecture firm Bora Architects with the purpose of not only delivering a sustainable development but also inspiring students who require an augmented approach to learning.
In the Trim Tab article, Alex writes:
There’s an old adage in energy departments that says, “Buildings don’t use energy. People do.” Net-zero energy isn’t something that’s achieved by the building alone—it requires an end-user to participate. In a K-12 setting like Creekside Community High School, this doubles as a learning opportunity for students. In the main concourse area, dashboards are prominently displayed and offer clear insight into the school’s energy usage, demonstrate to students how the systems function, and perhaps most importantly, how their actions can directly improve the building’s performance. The goal is to not only keep the facility on track but to also reframe how the students view their role within the building, further socializing energy usage. After construction was completed, the design team met multiple times with the staff and students, going over how to use the building in an energy-efficient and mindful way. The science and math programs will also integrate energy studies with the information provided at the dashboard.