November 15, 2019

Zero Energy K-12 Schools as Catalysts for Change: the AEDG Path to Success

Return to webinar menu

One hour webinar

As the State of California moves rapidly towards zero energy standards for construction, a much-needed guide towards widespread adoption of these goals for the K-12 sector has been provided by the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Zero Energy K-12 Schools, through a collaboration of the AIA, ASHRAE, IES, and USGBC, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. This webinar will introduce the guide, highlighting the benefits of zero energy design for building cost effective high-performance learning environments. Addressed to all stakeholders in K-12 zero energy schools, including school boards, administrators, and educators, the guide demonstrates the feasibility of building highly energy efficient Zero Energy K-12 schools now across all climate zones in the US using technologies available to institutional K-12 clients. The recommendations are backed up by building simulations, undertaken by NREL, of prototype schools for all climates. The guide then elaborates on the key planning, design and procurement strategies to ensure the success of zero energy projects from initial team setup and project definition through post occupancy commissioning and user engagement. Achieving high energy efficiency is prioritized before renewable energy is added to a project. Beyond achieving superior energy performance, the zero energy systems and policies must always be aligned with the educational mission of the school. The webinar will demonstrate how the successful zero energy K-12 school creates a community of active participants, building awareness, inspiration, consensus, and technical know-how to achieve common goals of environmental stewardship.


A practicing architect for 30 years, Sylvia Wallis creates sustainable interventions that build community and enhance the cultural identity of each place.  As a design architect and sustainability specialist, she has focused her work on high performance and net zero strategies for civic, cultural, and educational projects, integrating a range of building simulation applications into the design process.  As part of a joint AIA/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES committee, she recently co-wrote the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for designing zero energy kindergarten through 12th-grade school buildings. Her past projects include the West Branch Library for the City of Berkeley (a LEED Platinum COTE TopTen award winner and a certified Zero Net Energy Living Building) and Performance Criteria for the new Emissions Testing Facility of the California Air Resources Board (targeting zero net energy, 100% carbon emissions mitigation, optimum indoor air quality, and LEED v4 Platinum). A Certified Passive House Consultant since 2009 and a former member of the Board of Directors of Passive House California, Sylvia has consulted on various residential and institutional passive house projects.  She has taught at SCI-ARC, USC, and Beijing University, and lectures regularly on Zero Energy and Passive House strategies at universities and conferences worldwide.

This training offers one AIA CEU and one Build It Green CEU.