Zero Energy Is an A+ for Education: Discovery Elementary

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Currently experiencing a population boom, Arlington County is facing massive growth in the next decade and is seeking to add half a million square feet in educational facilities. During competitive design procurement, one of the teams suggested a zero energy goal could be accomplished within the given budget. Proponents at the district level who had been championing energy efficiency were receptive because sustainability was a core value of the project from the start, but they were skeptical that it could be done within the budget aimed at LEED Silver. Not only did the project end up coming under budget, including the solar array, but the building is more efficient than the originally predicted. Now Discovery saves $100,000 per year in utility costs, enough to cover the salaries of two teachers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-68774

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102017-4975


  • Arlington Public Schools District
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • building efficiency
  • schools
  • zero energy


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