Energy Commitments for Green Schools

This communal space, known as a “four-season porch,” is an opportunity to expose materials in a didactic way.

Many factors affect the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of a building, and several steps and considerations are required during the design, construction and life cycle of a building to achieve carbon neutrality.

American School & University features an article in its October issue addressing carbon neutrality: the impact of decisions, design and energy. A carbon-neutral building is focused primarily on low operational energy use and the embodied energy of the building materials. As such, a carbon-neutral building must mitigate the carbon emissions released in the materials’ fabrication, construction and continued operations of the building by generating more energy than it consumes over its life span through renewable resources. It is important to realize that carbon neutrality is not achieved the day the building opens; it is achieved over the life of the building, the article notes.

The article also features two sidebars: a highlight of the residence hall at Roger Williams University and some relevant definitions on the subject.