Forest Edge Elementary School

  • area / size 126,580 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • HGA and Bray Architects worked together on the first Net Zero Energy school with Forest Edge Elementary School in Oregon, Wisconsin.

    The Oregon School District joins an elite group of forward-looking national organizations with their new Forest Edge Elementary School. Completed in 2020, the 126,580 square foot facility has officially become the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) school in Wisconsin.

    Making Forest Edge a net zero facility was possible based on innovative approaches for several systems:

    • Ninety-nine geothermal wells extend 406 feet into the ground and feed electric water-source heat pumps that heat and cool the building very efficiently. By reducing the building’s heating, cooling, and electrical demands, the overall energy intensity is greatly reduced.
    • Installation of a solar array that includes 1,704 solar panels producing 646 kW on the school’s roof.
    • Electrochromic glass automatically tints exterior windows to manage solar gains and improve occupant comfort.
    • A state-of-the art 125kW battery was installed to store some of the energy when the panels produce more than the school needs. This excess energy can be deployed back into the school strategically to manage other energy demands. Even more impressive is that when there is excess energy the school will not need, they are able to sell the energy back to the utilities and add it to the grid.
    • No natural gas serves the building.

    The school includes a variety of learning tools to help students learn about sustainability. Viewing areas showcase the green roof and solar arrays, educational environmental graphics describe elements of the school, and monitors display a real-time energy dashboard with ongoing energy performance compared to the net zero energy target.

    Design: HGA and Bray Architects
    Photography: Bill Fritsch | Harper Fritsch Studios