Tag Archives: California

United States Carbon: NYC Gets First Net-Zero Energy School

An elementary school on Staten Island will be the net-zero energy school in New York City (NYC) and the Northeast, and one of the few in the world.

The 68,000-square-foot, two-story building will serve 444 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. Construction began just a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit – it won’t be completed until 2015.

Designed to comply with NYC School Construction Authority guidelines instead of LEED, the project will be the first the Authority’s “sustainability lab.” The school is being designed to use half the energy of a typical NYC public school.

The design features what are becoming standard net-zero practices: siting the building to maximize passive solar and covering the building with rooftop solar PV for electricity, as well geothermal for heating and cooling and thermal solar for hot water.

Net-Zero Energy School NYC

The courtyard-shaped building has an ultra-tight high-performance building envelope, daylit corridors, energy-efficient lighting, efficient kitchen equipment, energy recovery ventilators and demand-control ventilation, and a greenhouse and vegetable garden.

About a dozen other net-zero energy schools are completed or under construction. Schools are good candidates for net-zero energy because they naturally use less energy than other kinds of buildings, consuming about 17% of total US non-residential energy, says architect Paul Hutton. The days are short, there are long vacations and schools are often used less during the summer.

Other net-zero schools are:

  • Prairie Hill Learning Center, Roca, Nebraska
  • Putney School Field House, Putnam, Vermont
  • Marin Country Day School, Corte Madera, California
  • Hayes Freedom High School, Camas, Washington
  • Evie Garrett Dennis PK-12 School, Denver, Colorado
  • Centennial PK-12 School, Centennial, Colorado
  • Richardsville Elementary School, Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Kiowa County K-12 School, Greensburg, Kansas
  • Sangre de Cristo PK-12 School, Mosca, Colorado
  • Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, Irving, Texas
  • Colonel Smith Middle School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona

The 119-acre College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, will be net-zero energy and water.

Net-zero energy buildings are one of the hottest trends this year in green building and we’ve been seeing emerge in  buildings ranging from a residential community at the University of California, Davis to the San Francisco 49ers Santa Clara Stadium stadium.

California and the EU have passed laws requiring net-zero buildings.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com


United States Carbon: Climate Change

Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (ghg) in the atmosphere have increased dramatically in the past few decades. Solar energy is a renewable resource available within every geographic region of the U.S. with great potential to significantly reduce our nation’s ghg emissions.

Quick Facts

  • Top sectors producing ghg emissions in the U.S.: the electric power industry (33%), transportation (28%), industry (20%), and commercial and residential combined (11%)
  • Both concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies produce clean, emissions-free electricity that can help reduce U.S. ghg emissions
  • Solar heating and cooling systems can provide about 80% of the energy used for space heating and water heating needs.


Many scientists now agree that climate change is caused by an increase of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in the atmosphere. The ghg emissions in the United States come from a variety of different economic sectors, with the most prominent sectors being the electric power industry (33%), followed by transportation (28%), then industry (20%), and commercial and residential combined (11%).[1] While there may be not be one technology that can reduce all U.S. ghg emissions to zero, solar technologies come close. Solar energy is a solution to climate change and can significantly reduce emissions in each of these sectors.

Electric Sector

More than a third of U.S. ghg emissions result from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity usage in buildings and homes. Both Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV) technologies produce clean, emissions-free electricity and can feed this electricity right back into the U.S. grid. Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) technologies can also be used to displace the need for electricity. As of Q1 2013, the U.S. now has over 8,500 MW of cumulative installed solar electric capacity, enough to power more than 1.3 million average American homes.[2]

Transportation Sector

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are widely seen as one of the near-term climate change solutions in the transportation sector, especially when these vehicles are charged by a station powered by solar energy.

Industrial Sector

The U.S. is a highly industrialized country, and therefore a large portion of our ghg emissions stem from the industrial sector. The manufacturing of common materials such as aluminum and steel are energy intensive and generate high levels of ghg emissions. One of the main uses for energy in the industrial sector is for boiler fuel, meaning that energy is needed to generate steam or heat water, which is then transferred to a boiler vessel.  Another use for energy is for process heating, when energy is directly used to raise the temperature in a manufacturing process, such as in drying paint in the automobile industry, and cooking packaged foods.[3] Solar energy can offset the need for fossil fuels by generating high-temperature and medium-temperature heat from CSP and SHC technologies.

Commercial and Residential Sectors

The commercial sector includes buildings such as offices, malls, warehouses, schools, restaurants, and hospitals, while the residential sector consists of homes and apartments. Both commercial and residential buildings spend the majority of the energy consumed on space heating, space cooling, and water heating. This is a perfect application for SHC technologies, as the SHC systems can provide about 80% of the energy used for space heating and water heating needs. Furthermore, solar air conditioning can be used as a clean, emissions-free solution to meet cooling needs instead of using electricity.

Life-Cycle Assessment

Solar produces less life-cycle ghg emissions than conventional fossil fuel energy sources.[4] While there may be some ghg emissions produced during the manufacturing and recycling of the solar system, the generation of energy from the solar system results in zero ghg emissions and zero environmental impact.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com