Energy: Walk the Walk

Occasionally we are accused of being odd with our mental processes and have recently come to realize there may be some truth to it. Case in point, the school board meeting of June 8, 2015.

So first off, the head of the agenda is filled with many accolades for the paper recycling program. We don’t actually know what happens to the paper (is it turned back into paper or used a fuel for generating electricity?), but recycling is always a laudable goal.

The superintendent reported that the Pre-School/Kindergarten class upstaged the 5th grade by gathering 263 stacked inches in the recent “Magazine Drive”. All those last minute grandparent donations put them over the top.

Further on down the agenda there is an innocuous item “Eagle Scout proposal to redo the soccer field”. This item went right by us until board member Hemmer who was also on the building committee pointed out that the proposed irrigation system probably violated every LEEDs recommendation there is.

For those of you still wondering where this is going, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), is “a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices”. The Mason school district receives and extra percentage on its state building aid because the building is LEED’s certified. Mr. Hemmer rightfully pointed out that the building committee went to great pains to achieve this certification.

Then we went back into school policies adopted in 2010 and found P01CHPSPS (wonderful acronym) – Green School Operations. It says in part “ONLY ALLOW the purchase of ENERGY STAR compliant equipment and appliances.”

So on an out of the box whim we googled “Energy Star Irrigation system” and yikes… irrigation systems are mentioned along with “low-water and drought-resistant grass” and “adjust your irrigation controller at least once a month to account for changes in the weather” being several of many suggestions here.

Other hits included this one:

1.0 Water Efficient Landscaping, 50% Reduction
Water Efficiency Credit 1.1: 1 (one) point
Objective: To limit or eliminate the use of potable water for landscape irrigation.

This is potentially going to be a humdinger of a project. The energy star site also lists “install a rain shutoff device, soil moisture sensor, or humidity sensor to better control irrigation” which might actually be a great take off point for the “robotics program” scheduled for next year (although we’d recommend not using legos for the actual construction). Not all robots have to move, and keeping an eye on the needs of the lawn is already difficult enough.

We hope scout Jonathan Arsenault realizes what he has volunteered to do. Great project though.

1 comment for “Energy: Walk the Walk

  1. AllFactsFirst
    June 13, 2015 at 19:48

    I believe the school is certified through CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Shools) rather than LEEDS. In that light, the “wonderful” school policy acronym “P01CHPSPS” contains the term “CHPS”, which makes a bit more sense.

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