April 15, 2019

From Dream to Reality: Getting to Zero in Schools

1:00 pm -3:00 pm

Session Description

Getting to zero net energy in schools can be daunting for the design team, the occupants and especially the operators. To get to zero, the facility managers must make buildings and systems run in real time, with all the nuances and variables that were only modeling assumptions for the design team. This can be difficult when operators and occupants are not engaged by the design team and face very real time and resource constraints.

Despite these challenges, zero net energy schools are achievable. Getting to zero takes the commitment of wide variety of stakeholders, including the occupants and the operators, to ensure these buildings work. Bringing all stakeholders to the table early and often to discuss individual needs and realities is critical. In this workshop, participants will discuss the process of getting to zero in schools including common district approaches and goals, the importance of teamwork in the integrated design process, as well as operational considerations that will are crucial for ongoing zero net energy performance.

A new publication from NBI, the 2019 Zero Energy Schools Watchlist, documents the status of 219 zero energy and ultra-low energy school projects across North America. It also outlines common steps to success in zero energy projects. To view the watchlist, click here.

Nik Kaestner, Director of Sustainability, San Francisco Unified School District
Alan Glass, Energy Supervisor, Pittsburg Unified School District
Kevin Connolly, Director of Facilities, San Francisco Unified School District
Amy Cortese, Program Director, New Buildings Institute
Reilly Loveland, Project Manager, New Buildings Institute

About the Speakers

Amy Cortese is the Program Director at New Buildings Institute (NBI). Throughout her career, Amy has been involved sustainable design, green building and energy efficiency market transformation. At NBI, Amy is responsible for managing project implementation teams covering all aspects NBI’s work including advanced new and existing buildings, code and policy innovation and zero energy market development and leadership.

Alan Glass is the Energy Supervisor and Special Projects Accountant for Pittsburg Unified School District. Alan’s role with the “greening” of PUSD began doing data management of utilities for the District. With the onset of Prop 39, Alan’s role expanded to managing the District’s $2.7M in energy efficiency projects, and that evolved to overseeing the Sustainability and Energy Conservation efforts of the District. His efforts have brought wind generation to the District’s Corporate Yard, new beta solar panels which allow vegetation to grow successfully under the panels, EV charging for vehicles and buses, and more. Pittsburg Unified is a California Green Ribbon School District with Gold Distinction, and winners of the CSBA Golden Bell Award for their school gardens. Alan received his BA from UC Berkeley and a teaching credential from Cal State Hayward (now East Bay).

Nik Kaestner is the first Director of Sustainability at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), where he has collaborated with teachers, students, and staff to develop a nationally-recognized sustainable schools program. His staff of five keep busy promoting energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, green schoolyards, and low-carbon transportation at the District’s 180 sites. Since Nik’s hire in 2008, SFUSD’s energy use has dropped by 22%, water usage is down 29%, and waste diversion has doubled to 66%. SFUSD has been recognized as a Green Ribbon district by the US Dep’t of Education and received the Green California Summit’s Leadership Award, the Green Culture Leadership Award at the CA Green Schools Summit, and the “Best of Green Schools” award for industry transformation from the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools.

Reilly Loveland, Project Analyst, New Buildings Institute. Reilly supports the project management team on various projects including the Prop 39 Zero Net Energy School Retrofit work in California, as well as other K-12 schools related work. The program’s focus is on drastic energy reduction via zero net energy retrofits and vigorous occupant engagement programs. Reilly also designs and develops NBI workshops, public engagement materials, and other technical and market transformation resources. Prior to joining NBI she worked for the Integrated Design Lab and Washington Green Schools doing research and energy analysis, developing and maintaining databases, as well as designing energy focused curriculum for K-12 schools. Reilly also has a background in finance and lending as a result of her work as a sustainability consultant for a Real Estate Investment Trust in Los Angeles, CA where she was the USGBC-LA Green Schools Co-Chair for all of Los Angeles County. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Geophysics, Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington and holds certifications and licenses in Real Estate, ArcGIS, LEED and is a Green Classroom Professional (GCP).