Richardsville Elementary School

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Warren County Schools has four Energy Star buildings. As a net-zero school, Richardsville Elementary is designed to use only 18 kBtu/sq. ft.—annually 75 percent less than the ASHRAE 90.1 design standard for elementary schools.

The school is designed to be the first net-zero-energy school in Kentucky. Net zero means the school will produce the same amount of energy it ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$175.61CITATIONSpecial CitationFEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress on an annual basis. To achieve net zero, the design focused on six key aspects:

•High-performance building envelope.


•Geothermal HVAC and hot-water generation.

•On-site solar panel array.

•Energy Star-rated kitchen.

•Efficient operation and maintenance plan.

A clerestory connects the school and daylights interior spaces of the gymnasium, media center and cafeteria. Clerestory light shelves and skylights provide active daylighting for classrooms. Themed portions of the school are used to make the building a green teaching tool.

A “geothermal hallway” exposes piping manifolds and includes a temperature gauge so students can monitor the system’s performance.

The “solar hallway” has a laptop computer battery-charging station where students can see the energy being received from the solar panels.

The “water conservation hallway” enables students to monitor the amount of rainwater collected and used to flush toilets throughout the school.

The “recycling hallway” enables students to monitor the quantities of materials collected and relates these to their global impact.

“We applaud the leadership and commitment to

pursue a net-zero-energy school facility.”--2008 jury