Vermont school builds net-zero field house
January 23, 2010
By definition, net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they consume over the course of a year, and that’s at the heart of the Putney School’s 16,800-square-foot athletics building, which opened its doors last fall. Designed by Maclay Architects, the super-insulated, super-energy-efficient building uses the sun for its heating and electricity needs. Specifically, 16 sun-tracking photovoltaic solar panels power the building, feeding excess energy during sunny months back into the grid and earning the school 6 cents per kilowatt-hour as they do. In the winter, the building draws energy out again, but in an average year, it’s expected to do better than break even on its energy use. Other green features of the USD 6 million field house, include low-water fixtures and composting toilets, a white reflective roof and local materials such as site-harvested wood.