New Happy Valley Elementary School Proves Energy Efficient

Educators in Action

Newly-constructed Happy Valley Elementary school is the most energy-efficient school Bellingham Public Schools, a Dec. 2017 energy use audit showed.

The data point is the Energy Use Index (EUI). This index expresses a building’s total energy use as a function of its size or other characteristics, and is expressed as energy used per square foot per year. This is calculated by dividing the total energy consumed (both electricity and natural gas), in one year by the total gross floor area of the building.

“Our newest school that has been in use for a full year, Happy Valley, is the most energy efficient school in the district,” said Ron Cowan, Executive Director of Capital Projects and School Facilities. Happy Valley’s energy use is 35 percent below what the Seattle Energy Code publishes as a target for a school and 25 percent below the Energy Star 2010 Target. These energy savings lead to financial savings as well.

“We are spending $2,500 less on energy per year at the new Happy Valley than we did at the old school, and the new school is approximately 15,000 square feet larger,” Cowan said.

Cowan reports that there are several reasons for this success story. Director of Buildings and Grounds, Mike Anderson, has provided outstanding leadership for our resource conservation efforts.  Part of this work involved the recommendation to hire a building automation technician, Reece Carroll. Carroll fine-tuned the building control system at Happy Valley which helped realize the performance and savings and the district has had a great partner in Metrix Engineers, who designed the mechanical system at Happy Valley.

Learn more about how Bellingham Public Schools builds energy efficiency into every new school.

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