Highest Energy Efficiency Certifications Awarded to Maine Coast Waldorf School’s New High School Building

On Friday, March 30, at 8:00 am, Efficiency Maine will award Maine Coast Waldorf School a plaque designating their new net zero high school as a certified Maine Advanced Building. To achieve Maine Advanced Building certification, a building has been verified to meet the New Buildings Institute’s Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide at the tier two level. Maine Coast Waldorf School’s high school building far exceeds many of those requirements.

In addition, the school recently received certification from Passive House Institute of United States (PHIUS), which is the highest voluntary energy efficiency standard in the world. The high school, designed by the architectural firm BRIBURN of Portland, is the only passive house high school in the United States certified through PHIUS. At the event, BRIBURN will present a Passive House Certified building plaque from PHIUS.

The rigorous standards for Maine Advance Building and PHIUS+ 2015 Passive House certifications demonstrate Maine Coast Waldorf School’s deep commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. Some of the high school’s design features that led to the certifications are:

  • highly insulated 12-20” thick walls, 16-24” thick roofs, 4” thick slab insulation
  • continuous, tight air-sealing and precise detailing
  • sophisticated Swiss building membranes and tapes to control the ingress of moisture from the outside & to prevent interior moisture from migrating into exterior walls in the winter
  • triple-glazed windows and exterior doors from Lithuania and Belgium respectively
  • southern orientation of the building for maximum solar gain
  • window openings strategically located to capitalize on solar heat gain in the winter and deep southern overhangs to help prevent overheating during warmer months
  • interior LED lighting tied to “occupancy sensors”
  • air source heat pumps provide very efficient heating and cooling. (Internal heat gains from people, computers, lighting, and equipment provide significant heating in the winter & heat pumps make up the difference if needed.)
  • Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) use the exhausted air to precondition the incoming fresh air to minimize energy loss
  • roof mounted solar panel array is sized to produce at least as much electricity as the building is projected to use

Beautiful, thoughtfully designed buildings support Maine Coast Waldorf School’s mission and the new high school embodies the school’s dedication to environmental stewardship.