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Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI) Launches

crls_bldg.jpgIt is my pleasure to announce the launch of the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI). This fall, under the directorship of newly appointed sustainability manager, Kristen von Hoffmann, CGSI will collectively unite and mobilize sustainability efforts across the District. The initiative takes into account sustainable operations, design, and practice among all of our schools, and utilizes our new District website and weekly e-mails for up-to-date communications. The initiative is based upon the PFEWG™ model for sustainability that encompasses all operations in the categories of Products, Food, Energy, Waste, and Greenspace.

The Cambridge Green Schools Initiative aims to reduce the district’s energy usage, reduce carbon output, and save money through detailed data collection and measurement, quantitative analysis, and maintenance crew training, much of which is already underway. Since 2008, the Facilities Department under director Dana Ham has implemented environmental practices in building maintenance and custodial services, including a state-of-the art green cleaning program, updated pest-management plans, and storm water management. In partnership with the Department of Public Works the schools all have single-stream recycling and a yearly waste-reduction competition, as well as composting programs. Environmental sustainability has also been a tenet of all new building projects, including the renovation of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and the War Memorial Recreation Center which are in the process of becoming LEED-certified for efficient use of water, materials, and energy.

CRLSj_terrazzo_lobby.pngAdditionally, The Cambridge Public School Department in partnership with the DPW, the DOER Green Communities Grant Program, NSTAR Electric, and Prism Energy has implemented over the past two years and continues to implement energy efficiency projects to reduce usage and save money. The focus has been on implementing energy efficiency activities by means of Lighting and HVAC Measures. Lighting upgrades have consisted primarily of the installation of high efficiency lamps, ballasts and occupancy sensors by means of retrofitting existing lighting fixtures. HVAC projects have related to the installation and upgrade of heating and cooling mechanisms and DDC (direct digital control) systems that allow for more control over systems being turned on/off, and temperature control, thus enabling greater energy savings.

Over the past two years the City has completed the following energy efficiency projects for the schools. The Longfellow School installed a high efficiency condensing boiler. The new boiler replaced inefficient and failing equipment. The Baldwin School, Haggerty School, Kennedy-Longfellow School, and Peabody School have installed high efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors. At present, the schools are almost complete with a district-wide DDC integration, which allows for a centralized and more efficient means of digitally controlling HVAC systems within the schools from remote locations. Upcoming projects, some of which have just begun, include lighting retrofits to the War Memorial Recreational Building, the Morse School, and the Solomon Garage. Together, these projects total on estimated yearly savings of 881,282 kWh and $132,161.73.

For more information, please contact the CPSD Office for Sustainability, Facilities Department, Kristen von Hoffmann, Sustainability Manager at 617.349.6856.

Visit the CGSI web site >>