2019 Building Tours: Discovery Elementary

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2019

On July 9, D.C.-area properties opened their doors to 2019 Summit attendees to showcase their stand-out energy, water, and renewable efficiency measures. Below are highlights from one of the tours.

Discovery Elementary School, one of 23 elementary schools in Virginia’s Arlington Public School system, serves 650 students from pre-school through 5th grade. The facility opened in 2015 as the newest district elementary school in 11 years and spans nearly 100,000 square feet. Discovery is one of the first zero-energy schools on the East Coast, boasting geothermal heating and cooling and a 1,700-panel rooftop solar array. Attendees were guided by Cathy Lin, the Energy Manager and Stormwater Program Administrator for Arlington Public Schools. Tour attendees viewed energy efficiency design features including 100% LED lighting, daylighting through Low-E windows, ENERGY STAR®-rated equipment, a student solar learning lab that preheats water used in the school kitchen, and a high-efficiency HVAC system accessible to staff through internal maintenance closets on each floor. The school features an interactive map showcasing the various design features in addition to an energy dashboard which measures the consumption and generation of the facility. Teachers leverage the learning lab and the energy dashboard to educate students on the building’s energy-efficient features and engage them in sustainability curricula and energy design competitions. To date, the facility saves the district an average of $100,000 annually in utility costs and has earned LEED Silver certification.

Enjoy photos from the tour below!

1. Attendees outside of Discovery Elementary School's exterior
2. Solar array
3. LED lighting features
4. Attendees checking out maintenance closet
5. Discovery's energy dashboard
6. Discovery's map with features
7. Discovery's solar learning lab
8. Interior entrance of Discovery Elementary School