The final "call to action" presentation for the 7x7x7 Design Energy Water is is posted on YouTube - you can see our part of the presentation HERE, and watch Amy Fisher enjoy a glass of water as she discusses ways to move existing school buildings toward zero-net water usage. Aaron Wintersmith of Capital Engineering joined us to describe how schools can save energy and transition their heating systems away from fossil fuel use. And I discussed how we can provide the benefit of natural daylighting in classrooms while avoiding glare and solar heat gain.
It's all about establishing a net-zero transition plan – probably most school districts cannot afford to make every existing school net-zero energy and water all at once. But we can plan to spend a little bit more on every school modernization to get us closer to the goal. For example, installing separate water supply piping for toilet fixtures, so that later they can be connected to a non-potable water source – or installing dual drain systems, to create a gray water system that can be easily recycled for non-potable uses.
There are many things we can do to reduce energy and water use, if we plan now. Planning now to transition to net-zero will save enormous cost later – think of the cost to prevent high water intrusion into the lagoon in Venice, Italy ($6.1 billion) – what would a similar system across the Golden Gate cost?