US’s Largest Net Zero School Welcomes Students in Irving, Texas

by , 01/14/12

lady bird johnson middle school, net zero middle school, corgan associates, fabral metal, corgan architects, green design, sustainable building, wind turbines, net zero building

Lady Bird Johnson Middle School’s green features are apparent from the moment one approaches the school, as 12 wind turbines rise 45  feet into the air alongside the building. While visually impressive, the wind turbines actually only produce 1 percent of the school’s power needs. The other 99 percent is generated through the 2,988 Solyndra panels on the white roof that contain cylindrical tubes that capture sunlight from 360 degrees. Any extra energy produced is directed back to the regional grid.

The renewable energy production is coupled with a highly efficient building. 105 geothermal heat pumps help the HVAC system use about 30 percent less energy, and high-performance materials from Fabral Metal Wall and Roof Systems were used for the building’s physical structure. Insulated wall panels, sun shades, and light shelves are a few of the recycled and sustainable Fabral materials used. To help block the hot Texas sun from overheating the building, a large canopy was constructed on two sides of the building to help shade the windows.

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  1. Monshinique Brown November 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    The school is in an auto dependent area but the children are able to walk and a lot of them do. My son is one of the many that does. The majority of the kids that get driven are dropped off by parents on their way to work. The school has panels that tilt to allow more sun and heat or reduce it into the school also reducing its need for energy use. The school is not only energy efficient but uses lower CO2 materials in the library (the only room with carpeting) to reduce air pollution. The schools uses a minimum amount of paper. All schoolwork is done on iPads or HP netbooks. All of the lunch materials are recyclable and are then composted after use.The school is attempting to be as green as possible.

  2. eboxer February 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This is great, but the important part of this achievement should be the design effort that went into reducing energy consumption. Any school in a rich district can install enough solar panels to make it net zero – please tell us more about design that went into energy efficiency in these articles.

  3. robert bierma January 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Its all right, but net zero doesn’t anything to fix the fact that its an auto dependent location. I would rather have a non-net zero school in a location where the kids can walk to school then a net zero school any day. It uses less energy not to mention all the other benefits.

  4. poland.jr January 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    This school is a shining example of what can be accomplished with today’s technology and good design. I hope school districts all over the world take noe.

  5. Green Joy January 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    This is a perfect way to encourage and motivate students to consider and more importantly, CHOOSE alternative forms of energy. By immersing them in efficient technology, we can show them how application of such techniques and materials is beneficial in a wide scale. Hopefully more schools take note of Ladybird Johnson’s example and follow suit. Good job guys.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green)

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