Zero Energy

Bowers Elementary School

Manchester Public SchoolsManchester, Connecticut

Bowers Elementary School is Manchester Public Schools’ second renovate-as-new net zero energy project. Building on our success at Buckley Elementary School, CMTA aimed to significantly reduce the facility's energy use and utility costs while creating state-of-the-art, healthy educational spaces. Serving 400 students, the modernization project transformed the facility into an energy-efficient, 21st-century flexible learning environment.

To achieve net zero energy, CMTA's strategy included enhanced roof and wall insulation, efficient MEP systems, optimized air barriers, and appropriate use of glazing. A whole building blower door test was also used to validate the tightness of construction, as well as thermal scanning and imaging. As the most efficient means of heating and cooling for all building systems, CTMA designed a geothermal HVAC system for the facility, with the wellfield drilled under the existing ballfield. Coupled with a 371 kW rooftop photovoltaic system, our team right-sized the solar array to generate enough energy to both meet the building's annual energy demands and fit within the bounds of the roof.

The project also included a 10,000 SF, two-story addition to the building, which features a new, centralized main entrance designed to streamline community access. The addition's ground floor features interdisciplinary learning with dedicated spaces for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Music (STEAMM). Overlooking a new secure courtyard and outdoor classroom, the second floor includes additional classrooms and special education spaces. Additionally, the thoughtful redesign of the school's layout streamlines site circulation, significantly reducing congestion and increasing safety for students and staff.

Performing at an impressive 18 EUI, Bowers Elementary School's energy-efficient design results in an annual carbon reduction of 392 Metric Tons.