Municipal and School Buildings

Sustainable buildings feature environmentally responsible and resource-efficient choices throughout a building’s life cycle. Among the guiding principles are integrated design (linking architecture, structural engineering, optimized energy performance, and life cycle planning), water conservation, enhanced indoor air quality, low-environmental-impact materials, and assessment of climate change risks. Such standards promote fiscal responsibility, protect occupant health and productivity, and demonstrate environmental stewardship.

Achievements to Date

  • Riverfield and Stratfield School renovations designed to CT High Performance Building Standards featuring daylight harvesting, energy recovery ventilator, dedicated outdoor air system, rooftop solar panels, and an EV charging station
  • Four schools (Ludlowe HS, Warde HS, Mill Hill & Riverfield) feature “white roofing” to reflect solar heat and reduce air conditioning loads
  • Municipal and school buildings use low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) building materials to reduce “off gassing” that can damage air quality, human health, productivity and the environment

Challenges Ahead

  • Many Town and school facilities are situated within the 100-year flood plain and may be subject to increased flooding
  • Municipal construction projects are often compromised by “value engineering;” long-term savings opportunities are sacrificed for short-term budget constraints

Benefits of sustainable buildings

  • Save money on utility costs by reducing energy and water consumption
  • Improve student/employee health and reduce absences
  • Enhance student performance and employee productivity
  • Using natural resources more efficiently lowers environmental impact
  • Create a positive example for local residents and businesses
Reflective White Roof and Rooftop Solar Array at Fairfield Ludlowe High School

2030 Plan Goals*

  • All new construction or $10M+ renovations in Town buildings follow CT High Performance Building standards (or similar verification systems such as LEED)
  • Maintain electricity, heating fuel and water data for Town buildings in Portfolio Manager software to help achieve 20% reduction in usage for each
  • Use life cycle cost-benefit analyses; adopt all energy technologies with payback of <5 years and strongly encourage those with payback of 5-10 years
  • Include educational signs, kiosks, or learning labs in all green municipal and school buildings to encourage residents and businesses to adopt sustainable building practices
  • Submit all major municipal or school facilities to LEED Gold or equivalent standards, net-zero energy import from utilities and use rainwater/grey water for 50% of needs

*Some goals are ambitious and may need more time to achieve target participation rates; others can be achieved sooner. Work on all goals should begin as soon as possible.

How Do We Reach Our Goals?

  • Incorporate sustainable standards into long range plans for Town facilities
  • Adopt system-wide plans to conserve water with new technologies and behavioral changes
  • Increase public and business awareness of sustainable building concepts
  • Install a voice for sustainability: SFTF member on all building committees
Town of Fairfield Clean Energy Action Plan
CT High Performance Building Manual
U.S. Green Building Council
Collaborative for High Performance Schools
Low Impact Development
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