Lionakis was selected last fall as one of seven top education architectural firms to participate in the California Division of State Architect’s (DSA) 7x7x7: Design Energy Water project. This past week at the Crest Theater in Sacramento, Laura Knauss presented our case study at the final “Call to Action” event and demonstrated the steps a school could take to convert to a Zero Net Energy campus. Laura also presented site strategies to significantly reduce water usage.
Our project was a renovation of Trajan Elementary School in Orangevale. The school consists of multiple ‘fingerplan’ type classroom buildings similar to those found throughout California. The team of Lionakis, Glumac, and Siegfried chose to focus their attention on how to sustainably modernize a standard classroom module and the adjacent landscape spaces. The team utilized a number of strategies and worked with our Design Technology department’s Sefaira expert, Vanessa Gutierrez, to reduce the energy use intensity (EUI) from 37 to 21, then proposed renewable energy systems to achieve Zero Net Energy. The project serves as a model for DESIGNING A BETTER FUTURE at any district that is embarking on a modernization project and creates a blueprint for sustainable solutions no matter the district’s available funding. Congratulations to Laura and her team for showing schools across California how to achieve a sustainable future while educating our next generation.

About 7x7x7 Design Energy Water

Incorporating sustainability into the design and construction of new school buildings and campuses in California has become the norm. But for every new sustainable school building constructed, there are thousands of existing buildings with plenty of life left in them that have the potential to be far more energy and water efficient. It is time that we capitalize on this potential and reimagine how our existing schools can be renovated to enhance the learning environment and reduce energy and water usage.

In order to inspire this conversation across the state, the California Division of the State Architect (DSA)—a branch of the Department of General Services (DGS)—launched 7x7x7: Design Energy Water.

A preview of the conceptual case studies was presented at four regional events in January 2016 at schools of architecture in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and Berkeley.

The final report, including an executive summary and the completed case studies, was presented at a final “Call to Action” event in Sacramento on February 23, 2016.