Beyond Energy: The Many Social Benefits of LEED Zero Energy Schools in Baltimore

28 Sep 2023
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Beyond Energy: The Many Social Benefits of LEED Zero Energy Schools in Baltimore

Beyond Energy: The Many Social Benefits of LEED Zero Energy Schools in Baltimore

28 Sep 2023
About the speakers
  • Amy Upton
    Amy Upton
    Director of Environmental Design + Principal at Grimm + Parker Architects
    Amy Upton, AIA and LEED Fellow, has spent her 20-year career at Grimm + Parker Architects balancing her roles as Project Architect on K-12 Schools, Recreation Centers, Libraries, and Blended Facilities, as a firm Principal, and as the firm’s Director of Environmental Design. She has designed and been a part of over 18 million square feet of green certified public projects that strike a balance of inspiring, healthy and high-performance environments with budget, maintenance, and operation concerns. She also coordinates environmental literacy programs, designs sustainability murals, signage, and dashboards at green schools and captains many Green Apple Day of Service events annually. Amy was co-Project Manager for two Zero Energy and LEED Platinum Pre-K-Grade 8 schools in Baltimore City that opened Fall 2020 and is currently working on the design of other Zero Energy projects in Maryland and Virginia.
  • Rebecca	Gullott
    Rebecca Gullott
    Senior Project Manager at Lorax Partnerships, LLC
    Rebecca is a Senior Project Manager with Lorax, LLC, coordinating a diverse portfolio of green building projects under various rating systems. Rebecca leads Lorax’s program of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assessment and planning services. She is especially proud of her work in K-12 and higher education facilities. Most recently, she documented the LEED Zero Energy® Certifications for LEED® platinum Graceland Park and Holabird Academy Elementary-Middle Schools. Rebecca also developed bilingual educational materials to interpret the sustainable design elements for these two net-zero energy schools to the students and community. Rebecca has consulted on sustainability plans for the University of the District of Columbia, Town of Bowie, MD, and the Maryland Zoo, among others. Rebecca earned her Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of London. She is most passionate about addressing environmental justice issues and developing sustainable environments that help people, businesses, and communities thrive.
  • Cyndi Smith
    Cyndi Smith
    Executive Director – Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction at Baltimore City Public Schools
    Cyndi Smith is the Executive Director of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction at Baltimore City Public Schools in Baltimore, Maryland. In her role, she oversees the work that the planning, design and construction departments perform, including the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Master Plan (CEFMP), the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the 21st Century Buildings Program, the Capital design and construction program, the Built to Learn Program, and all other planning, design and construction initiatives for City Schools. She led the design and construction teams for the first zero net energy schools that Baltimore City Schools designed and built, which obtained LEED Platinum status. Cyndi is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Maryland, a Project Management Professional (PMP), and an Accredited Learning Environments Professional (ALEP).
  • Johnathan Stewart
    Johnathan Stewart
    Partner, Electrical Engineer at CMTA
    Mr. Stewart is an Electrical Engineer with CMTA. He has been with the firm for 15 years. He has a passion for solar and high performance design and has applied that to many recent projects. With what is learned on previous projects, that knowledge and decision making is then applied to future projects for the constant pursuit of making buildings more efficient. He mostly works in the K-12 industry, but has experience in all building types and sectors. He was the lead Zero Energy, PV designer, and lighting design for the two new Zero Energy Schools (Holabird and Graceland) for Baltimore City Public Schools.

Key takeaways

- Demonstrate equitable ways to engage and train future zero energy school occupants from students to teachers to curriculum specialists to administrators and facility managers in a diverse, inner-city school system.

- Assess design strategies to achieve zero energy with examples of cost shifting such as optimizing fenestration and controls to afford renewable energy systems such as on-site photovoltaic arrays.

- Discuss the LEED Zero Energy® certification process and lessons learned.

- Identify critical decisions needed by the school system at each stage of design and construction to successfully operate as a zero energy school.