Living and teaching sustainability
Green technologies for America’s largest zero-energy school
Global energy consumption is set to increase by one-third until 2035 – and, with it, the outlay for heating and electricity. Those seeking some degree of independence from this trend turn to renewable energies and efficient household appliances. This is just what Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving, Texas, has done, winner of the “Best of Green Schools” award in 2013. The largest zero-energy school in the United States generates exactly the same amount of energy as it consumes with the aid of Bosch technologies.
The building generates electricity from wind turbines and a large-scale photovoltaic system. Ground-source heat pumps provide the air conditioning. They use the constant ground temperature to cool the classrooms in summer and heat them in winter. This switchover not only enabled the school to reduce its energy costs by 70 percent – teachers also actively incorporate this visionary energy concept into the lesson plan as a means of raising students’ awareness of environmentally-conscious behavior at an early age.