Zero Energy

Four Winds Alternative and CTE High School

Fort Totten Public School DistrictFort Totten, North Dakota

The Four Winds Alternative and Career Technology Education High School is the first Zero Energy education space built on tribal land. Opening in 2017, the 12,500 square foot replacement school is located on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. The new career technology education facility includes classroom, lab, and office space for teachers and students. Located in climate zone 7, there were several challenges to achieve the first Zero Energy building in North Dakota.

Due to the climate zone 7 environment, heavy emphasis was put on designing a tight building envelope to further reduce EUI and operating costs of the new building. Several sustainable strategies were implemented to achieve operational energy efficiency, including a geothermal heating and cooling system, high-efficiency heat pumps, energy recovery, occupancy sensors, LED lighting, sola tube lighting, a high performance envelope system, and a roof-mounted photovoltaic system. The 80kW photovoltaic system was sized to offset the school’s energy use, resulting in operational Zero Energy.

This building is about the future. We’re not only preparing our students for the future, but we’re also designing this building for the future by using the earth respectfully and efficiently to power the school.

Jeff Olson

Superintendent, Fort Totten Public Schools