Boulder Valley School District

BVSD Sustainability team partners with CU graduate students to develop a decarbonization plan

Two students aim a digital thermometer at a wall
Miles Hoffman

En Español

In an exciting new collaboration, University of Colorado Boulder (CU) graduate students will be working with District staff, environmental partners (state, local, private & non-profit), and community members, to develop a roadmap to decarbonization for District buildings in pursuit of our goals of an 80% reduction in emissions and carbon neutrality by 2050. BVSD is proud to partner with CU on this endeavor which fulfills the Capstone project requirement for CU Masters of Environment students. 

Decarbonization plans strategize creating the healthiest and most efficient buildings possible. Plans include measures for continuous improvement of energy efficiency, electrification of heating systems (most BVSD buildings are currently heated with natural gas), and a focus on procuring renewable sources of energy. This plan will be an appendix to the District’s Energy Plan which was created in 2013. The plans help BVSD identify short and long term strategies for reducing energy consumption while engaging occupants, adjusting operational procedures, and planning for long term investments. 

Decarbonizing the district will improve community health and comfort, resiliency, and student learning outcomes while lowering operating costs and reducing our carbon footprint. This project will prioritize BVSD buildings with Energy Use Intensity (EUI) scores higher than 56.9 to achieve compliance with the state’s building performance standards. EUI is the metric used to measure energy efficiency in buildings. The lower the EUI, the more efficient the building is. 

The decarbonization plan will incorporate existing sustainability and energy plans, goals and strategies as well as researched best practices from similar organizations both locally and nation-wide. Likewise, the plan will align with existing actions and programs in place. As part of the planning process, students will work with funding entities to lay out pathways to implementation, including creative funding approaches. 

BVSD students at all levels are engaged to help the district with these efforts. In Louisville, Pirates and Panthers for Climate Action from Louisville Middle School and Louisville Elementary School have conducted energy audits of their schools as part of the Renew Our Schools Energy Challenge and are working with the District to identify funding and implementation pathways. High school students from Monarch, Fairview and Centaurus sit on the District's Sustainability Advisory committee, and the Board of Education's passing of the Green New Deal highlights the ongoing commitment of the District to create healthy learning environments while supporting community resilience.

 


 

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