At Vectorworks, we value the use of sustainable design. That’s why we’re proud to share that San Francisco-based Vectorworks user Hamilton + Aitken Architects is a participant in the 7x7x7 Design Energy Water initiative. Through this program, the firm demonstrates ways existing school campuses can transition to Zero Net Energy (ZNE) — a clean path to the future.
ZNE means that the total amount of energy used by a building on an annual basis is equal to or less than the renewable energy generated on site.
The James Lick Middle School, modernized by Hamilton + Aitken Architects. Originally built in 1930, the school is an example of how even older buildings can have a path to zero net energy. Image courtesy of Hamilton + Aitken Architects.
The purpose of the 7x7x7 program is to encourage school districts throughout California to develop long-range master plans to reduce energy and water consumption, while improving the quality of educational spaces.
“The 7x7x7 Design Energy Water case study required a great deal of technical analysis and calculations,” says Hamilton + Aitken Architects Principal Chad Hamilton. “Using Vectorworks, we were able to generate data on volume and area that we could feed into worksheets to estimate energy and water usage, available rainwater and greywater for recycling, feasibility of using on-site photovoltaics, and many other required calculations.
An inside view of the James Lick Middle School. Image courtesy of Hamilton + Aitken Architects.
As a result of this initiative, the San Francisco Unified School District voted on September 26, 2017, to pass a resolution in support of carbon neutral schools. They plan to transition all district campuses to ZNE by 2040.
Here are some of the many benefits of moving existing schools towards ZNE:
- Maximize daylight and air quality while curtailing harmful pollutants to keep students and teachers healthier
- Reduce energy use to a minimum to improve efficiency
- Optimize cost and decrease maintenance burdens as much as possible, which also reduces operating cost
- Encourage pride and commitment among families and the neighborhood, while preserving the beauty of the past by maintaining and modernizing beautiful school buildings
You can read more about the Hamilton + Aitken Architects case study and find other resource materials here.