Taking the LEED

JCI and ISD 709 seem to have turned their back on a tremendous opportunity to save energy at the Ordean site. To the horror of a couple of landscape architects they designed a site that had to be excavated to an extraordinary depth. This massive, expensive, excavation could have been paired with geothermal heating and cooling to give the new Ordean a passive energy saving plan. Trap the Earth’s heat in the Winter with underground piping to warm the building and pump heat out of the building in the Summer.

But JCI is an air conditioner company. They made AC for autos and for big buildings. Never mind that when the new, soon to be abandoned Central High was designed by a bunch of California architects in the 1970’s thier AC broke down a year or two after the building’s completion. It was never really needed anyway in Duluth the ,”Air Conditioned City.” Each of the JCI air conditioning units are about a million dollars, require lots of energy to run and expensive, annual, contracts with JCI to keep the energy units running.

But just as JCI scammed Duluth with its unfulfilled promises to keep energy costs low on the City’s Steam Plan they promised the School Board massive energy savings. They hype the “LEED” designation but mostly for salesmanship purposes. And what of LEED? Here’s a little three minute video from Net Green that demonstrates that it can be smoke and mirrors.

But, on a happier note, at least East Junior High will have a new swimming pool. I hope JCI avoids the problems we had at Morgan Park when it was discovered that the MP pool was so poorly vented that mold spread throughout the building.

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