In 2007 Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. set a goal to achieve U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification. With the help of Siemens Building Technologies Division, Stevenson recently achieved this goal by becoming the first high school in America to be certified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings (EB).
“Earning LEED Gold status is a validation of our ‘Green Initiative’ to reduce the schools carbon footprint,” said Stevenson High School assistant superintendent for Business Mark Michelini, who coordinated the effort. “Part of its mandate directed staff to embrace best practices—in collaboration with Siemens and support from partners Cannon Design and Sodexo, our facilities team created a master plan to address campus energy and resource consumption. We’ve met and exceeded those targets and the result is our LEED certification—a national benchmark and an achievement we all share—faculty, staff and especially the students.”
Stevenson, one of the largest high schools in the U.S., educates more than 4,500 students each year and has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Education five times. The sprawling campus features all the amenities and encompasses more than 1 million square feet of classroom, athletic, performing arts and administrative facilities. Through a comprehensive understanding of the technical and operational aspects of the campus’ building automation, HVAC systems, lighting and other elements, Siemens was able to help the Stevenson Green Initiative committee develop a broad operational plan to systematically reduce water consumption and help the school cut back on electricity and natural gas use after hours.
Among key deliverables, Siemens provided full transparency of CO2, energy consumption and pricing through the company’s cloud-based Energy Monitoring and Control platform. Highly skilled energy technicians using cloud-based tools from Siemens Services group also delivered a comprehensive existing building continuous commissioning program—an essential element of LEED EB certification.
As a result, Stevenson was able to achieve its first set of energy consumption reduction targets set forth in its sustainability mission statement: Seven percent lower electricity use and five percent less natural gas consumption. According to Stevenson officials, those measures have saved the school over $100,000 in electricity and natural gas costs over the 22-month certification process.
“With any collaboration, the key is knowledge sharing on the one hand, and then the practical application of that knowledge on the other,” said Courtney Shoemaker, Energy Services, Siemens Building Technologies Division. “At the center of it was a comprehensive understanding of the interplay and interdependence of the school’s legacy building systems and operational practices, supported by data delivered by Siemens technology.”