Sandy Grove Middle School is now a verified zero energy building that benefits from reduced energy use through onsite renewable energy sources. The school is the first energy-positive, LEED Platinum registered, leased public school in North Carolina.
The 74,000-sq. ft. energy-positive facility is designed to return more energy to the grid than it consumes. The facility is projected to save Hoke County Schools nearly $35 million over the next 40 years, according to a statement.
The photovoltaic solar array is comprised of 2,358 roof-mounted panels, as well as four striking solar structures that stand 20 feet tall. Combined, the panels produce over 752,000 kilowatt/hours of electricity per year – enough energy to power more than 68 homes.
Other important factors in conserving energy are super insulated wall and roof assemblies coupled with high-performance glazing and extensive use of LED lighting. The LED lighting not only uses less energy than more traditional fluorescent lighting, it emits less heat which in turn requires less mechanical cooling.
“Being recognized as a ZERO Energy Building is amazing,” SfL+a Architects president Robbie Ferris said in a statement. “This building is more than just a middle school. This facility is driving cultural change in Hoke County and is giving back to the local community through the commitment of a high performance educational learning environment.”