California K–12 District Launches Energy Infrastructure, Sustainability Program

The Burlingame School District in Burlingame, Calif., recently announced the upcoming launch of its Energy Infrastructure and Sustainability Program Phase II, according to a news release. Construction on HVAC modernizations and solar structures will begin early this year and is scheduled for completion before the beginning of the 2024–25 school year. Schools within the district will gain access to renewable energy generation and electrical improvements to replace outdated gas utilities.

The district will modernize the HVAC infrastructure of every campus and offer air-conditioning to these facilities for the first time ever, the news release reports. Smart building automation systems will also maximize energy efficiency, enhance ventilation, and streamline school operations.

Phase II also entails installing parking, shade, and rooftop solar structures at six district elementary schools. The renewable energy and improvements to efficiency are intended to offset energy consumption from the new HVAC system while also pushing the district further toward net zero energy.

“By switching to modernized energy solutions, the Burlingame School District is not only reducing our energy footprint but also forming school environments which support learning and collaboration,” said Board of Trustees Previous President and Current Trustee Lisa Mudd. “These sustainability improvements harmonize the work we do in the classroom with the operation of our school facilities.”

The district implemented Phase I of the program five years ago and has saved more than 4.2 million kilowatt hours in energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2.

“Our energy infrastructure will reflect Burlingame School District’s vision and mission,” said district superintendent Dr. Marla Silversmith. “Building resilient facilities with efficient, renewable energy standards promotes environmental stewardship for our community and encourages our problem-solvers to prepare for their future.” 

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Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].