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Department of General Services Recognizes Earth Day with Expansion of Net Zero-Ready Construction

Friday, April 22, 2022
New Construction is the Next Chapter in Harnessing Energy in the District

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Department of General Services (DGS), celebrates the awareness of energy conservation and promoting healthy environments in the District on Earth Day with the announcement of its Net Zero Energy-Ready construction program expanding within the DC Public Schools (DCPS) portfolio and into new projects for the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

“This is an exciting and pivotal time right now; under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, DGS is executing fully sustainable architecture designs, transforming these plans into reality within the District's real estate portfolio," said Keith A. Anderson, Director of DGS. “It means our net zero energy-ready public facilities, both school buildings and recreation centers, will be working smarter, intentionally designed to put back onto the grid the energy that they’ve used. This is a benefit to students, residents and the city, overall.”

The Bowser Administration has delivered two Net Zero Energy (NZE)-ready schools currently in operation that opened at the start of 2021-2022 school year: John Lewis Elementary School in Ward 4 and the new Benjamin Banneker Academic High School building in Ward 2. Two additional school projects under construction are designed to be NZE-ready: the new Bard Early College High School campus in Ward 8 and the modernized Raymond Elementary School in Ward 4, both of which are scheduled to open in 2023. New to the District’s NZE platform will be the upcoming renovation to the Stead Park Recreation Center in Ward 2, which is in the Department of Parks and Recreation portfolio.

An NZE facility is designed to generate an equal amount of energy that the building uses, thereby using our resources more efficiently. These energy resources are drawn from the use of photovoltaic panels, ground-source heat pumps, an advanced building envelope, effective use of daylighting and shading to optimize solar heat during the change of seasons. NZE also utilizes an energy management system to monitor and control how energy is expanded and tracked to promote the most efficient operations while still maintaining maximum comfort and conditions.

With the passage of the landmark Green Building Act of 2006, DC became the first major city in the U.S. to require green building certification for both the public and private sectors. As the agency tasked with constructing and improving District government facilities, DGS is committed to continuing this leadership role in green building. DGS works to build public environments and world-class structures that encourage health, happiness, productivity, and learning while minimizing the structures’ embodied energy and lifecycle demand for resources.