Northshore School District is the top Energy Star school district in the state with 11 schools receiving the Energy Star Award in 2008. The awards reflect the district’s long-standing commitment to energy efficiency in schools and to creating a healthy and productive learning environment for its 19,500 students spread throughout King and Snohomish counties. The 2008 award winners were: Bear Creek, Crystal Springs, East Ridge, Frank Love, Kenmore, Moorlands, Sunrise, Westhill, Woodin and Arrowhead elementary schools.
Energy Star, a joint venture of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy, is a voluntary labeling program established in 1992 to help identify and promote energy efficient practices and products that help consumers save money while protecting the environment. Schools must meet stringent EPA performance standards, by using less energy and emitting fewer greenhouse gas emissions than competitors, to receive the Energy Star Award. To qualify, a school must score in the top 25 percent based on the EPA National Energy Performance Rating system, which measures a school’s performance against the energy usage of similar schools while taking into account such criteria as operating conditions, local weather patterns, and others.
Northshore also won an Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Excellence Award in recognition of its efforts to improve air quality for students, teachers and staff members. This award has particular significance due to the impact of respiratory conditions such as asthma on learning and school attendance. Annually, asthma accounts for 14 million missed school days while allergies cause an estimated 2 million additional lost school days. While becoming more energy efficient, Northshore has also been able to reduce indoor air pollutants through preventative measures and provide adequate airflow by maintaining ventilation equipment.
The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Excellence Award is given to schools or districts in the U.S. that have demonstrated significant progress in the implementation of indoor air quality (IAQ) management programs. To qualify, schools must at minimum meet the criteria for a Great Start Award as well as show progress towards completing IAQ walkthroughs or assessments for each district school agreeing to participate in the program. Applicants are required to demonstrate how they intend to address IAQ issues, and must show that they have identified and prioritized any IAQ repairs and upgrades.
Since 2003, the district has maintained a business partnership with McKinstry as its Energy Services Company (ESCO) and the building expert has played a pivotal role in positioning the district’s schools to garner the Energy Star and IAQ awards. The district’s partnership with McKinstry has not only enabled it to provide an enriched learning experience for its students but has provided it with the hard data through Knowledge Response Program which provides 24/7 remote, facility management services for its schools. This data gives Northshore the feedback it requires to continue its energy conservation and sustainability efforts, provides lessons in sustainability for students, and generates capital that can be then be reinvested into the schools.
The combination of energy retrofits, conservation initiatives and energy usage and performance monitoring has enabled Northshore to save more than $200,000 in energy expenditures for the 2008–09 school year—enough energy to power 176 single-family homes.
McKinstry (mckinstry.com) is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services. Our innovative, integrated delivery methodology provides clients with a single point of accountability that drives waste, cost, time and redundancy out of the design/build process. The company employs over 1,600 professional staff and trades people throughout the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, West, Midwest and Southwest regions of the United States with operations in more than 15 states. McKinstry advocates collaborative and sustainable solutions designed to ensure occupant comfort, improve systems efficiency, reduce facility operational costs and ultimately optimize profitability for “The Life of Your Building.”
About Northshore School District
Northshore School District (nsd.org) is the 11th largest school district in Washington serving 19,500 students in 20 elementary schools, 6 junior high schools, 3 senior high schools, an alternate high school, a home school program and a preschool program. Known nationally for its academic achievements, Northshore is committed to Strengthening Our Community Through Excellence in Education.
Leanna Albrecht, Communications Director - P: 425-408-7670 or email lalbrecht2[.]nsd.org.