First Net Zero Energy Public School Building in California


The Evergreen School District in San Jose chose Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning systems to get to net zero and save $9,000 annually in energy costs.

When the George V. LeyVa Middle School needed a new administration building, architect John Diffenderfer, principal at Aedis Architecture & Planning, received a call from the superintendent of the Evergreen School District, requesting a team of local architects and engineers who specialize in sustainable building practices. For LeyVa, the goal was to design an advanced energy-plus building that would not only provide comfort, but also cut down on costs for the school district.

Diffenderfer encouraged the administration to select efficient VRF zoning systems to cool and heat the new building, reminding school officials that the severe economic trouble of the past few years had produced a revenue crisis for California schools. Noting that utility expenses are one of the last line items school administrations can directly control, he said, “Creative thinking is desperately required, and we should make this installation a de facto standard for all Evergreen schools.”

The administration listened and gave the green light to install our systems. These Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning systems help the building operate at 41 percent higher efficiency than required by California’s Energy Code (Title 24), while generating up to 8 percent surplus energy.

To see the full case study, click here.