Kenny Stanfield to Speak About 21st Century Education & Energy Design at KSBA Conference

Session Title: 21E School Design – 21st Century Education and Energy

Event: Kentucky School Boards Association Conference at the Galt House in Louisville

Time: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Speakers: Kerry Young, Warren County Public Schools Board Chair, and Kenny Stanfield, Principal, AIA, LEED AP, at Sherman Carter Barnhart

A/S Level II required topic: School Facilities* (or A/S Level IV/V)

Warren County Schools Board Chair Kerry Young and Sherman Carter Barnhart’s Kenny Stanfield, Principal, AIA, LEED AP, will be speaking at the Kentucky School Board Association conference Saturday on how school design can have an impact on student achievement. Those who attend the session will learn to establish the “right” design priorities in a 21st Century Education and Energy School. Those priorities include design that helps engage students and inspire learning in a safe, healthy, sustainable environment while also dramatically reducing or even eliminating energy costs.

Below, in a Q&A with Chris Poore, Stanfield offers a sampling of what he’ll be talking about:

Poore: If you had to sum up in a couple of sentences what you’re going to talk about at KSBA, how would you do it?
Stanfield: We’ve entitled this presentation “21E”, and that stands for 21st Century Education and 21st Century Energy. It can basically be summed up as our strategy going forward for every single school we design. The essence of a 21E school is a design that engages and inspires learning in a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment while at the same time dramatically reducing or eliminating energy costs.

Poore: So for an attendee coming to this session, what’s the most important thing they’re going to learn?
Stanfield: What they’re going to learn in this session is that these strategies to design a 21E school can be used by any school district. It’s not a prototype building, but it’s prototype strategies that are proven — that we have developed over the last 10+ years since designing the first zero-energy school in the nation.

We’ve taken these strategies and applied them to every building that we design. An attendee will come away with a complete portfolio of ideas to apply to their next project that can achieve similar kinds of energy reduction strategies.

Poore: As you talk to folks who might not know much about Sherman Carter Barnhart or some of the schools that you guys have designed, this stuff might sound expensive. Can you explain why that’s not the case?

Stanfield: Definitely. What we’ve been able to do in our design strategies is to incorporate ideas that save money, not only in the long-term energy use of the building, but also the upfront first costs of the building. We’re able to do this and it doesn’t cost a dime more than a conventional school. As a matter of fact, when we look at our history of these buildings, since Richardsville Elementary, we’ve been under the Kentucky Department of Education model program 100% of the time. (The model program sets a minimum and maximum standard for all components of a typical school, i.e. restrooms, mechanical spaces, hallways, etc. It also establishes what the average cost per square foot should be for a school.)

So the argument of adding cost is simply not there, and what we want to promote is that the big savings is energy reduction. For example, on a typical 600-student elementary school, you’re going to have an annual energy cost a little north of $200,000 — that’ll vary a little bit depending on what part of the state you’re in as the cost of energy varies a little bit. We’re talking about reducing energy by 75% in each of the buildings that we design. So you can imagine now we have what was previously a $200,000 energy bill reduced to a $50,000 energy bill. So what would you do with that extra $150,000 a year that doesn’t have to go out the door to pay utilities?

Poore: You’ve been barnstorming the South the last couple of weeks. You went to Yale, South Carolina, Mississippi to speak about Insulated Concrete Form design and Zero Energy schools, meaning schools that produce as much energy as they consume. From questions that you heard and then from the response that you got, what did you learn about some of the strategies Sherman Carter Barnhart uses in school design?

Stanfield: What I’ve learned is that there’s nobody out there that’s putting all these strategies together and successfully doing this as a building type each and every time they design a school. I’ll encounter folks that are doing geothermal on their projects or they’re doing one or more things, but they’re not combining them all into a formula for creating a building that’s going to be net-zero-achievable like we’re talking about. So what I really came away with was that we’re really ahead of the game in Kentucky. It’s exciting to be able to share our strategies with other folks and be able to show them how all of these strategies together can design a better building.

Poore: It sounds like a number of people are already signed up to attend your KSBA session. Who should come to this session?

Stanfield: Anyone that’s a decision-maker in a school district should come — be it the superintendent, facility director, or board members — because what we’re going to be able to show them is a track record of almost 20 buildings that we now have in operation where we’ve achieved these energy reduction numbers and we’ll be able to share figures on the first cost of the building, too.

Anybody that’s contemplating a new school in the future should come to this session and learn how it can be designed to be an asset for their district and actually save them a great deal of money that can then be put back into the classroom for student achievement.

Want to know more?

Kenny Stanfield, AIA LEED AP
Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects

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