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Energies 2013, 6(12), 6487-6507; doi:10.3390/en6126487

Improvement of the Sustainability of Existing School Buildings According to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Protocol: A Case Study in Italy

1
Architecture, Building Environment and Construction Engineering (A.B.C.) Department, Polytechnic of Milan, Via E. Bonardi 9, Milano 10133, Italy
2
SACERT, Corso di Porta Vittoria 27, Milano 20122, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
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Abstract

School-age students spend much of their time in school buildings. The sustainability of these buildings should be a priority as better comfort with a high indoor air quality contributes to an improvement in the conditions for learning. Although new school buildings are often built with high standards of sustainability and energy efficiency, the existing school building stock is generally characterised by very poor quality. The energy retrofit of existing school buildings in recent years is part of the policies of the European Union and, consequently, of the Member States. However, rarely do these measures consider aspects other than energy. This paper proposes and discusses a feasibility study which provides a considerable improvement in the environmental quality of 14 school buildings located in northern Italy: the objective is to ensure the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® certification. The analysis considers both the technical and economic aspects. The study shows that there is a technical feasibility: the credits are between 42 and 54, moreover the major cost (the cost of building envelope and heating systems retrofit is 82.9% of the total cost) is due to the improvement of energy efficiency. The improvement of sustainability is therefore a reasonable strategy even if the application of the LEED Protocol in the Italian context involves some critical issues that are discussed in the paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability of school buildings; school buildings retrofit; LEED protocol; Green Energy Audit; energy efficiency; economical evaluation of sustainable retrofit sustainability of school buildings; school buildings retrofit; LEED protocol; Green Energy Audit; energy efficiency; economical evaluation of sustainable retrofit
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dall'O', G.; Bruni, E.; Panza, A. Improvement of the Sustainability of Existing School Buildings According to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Protocol: A Case Study in Italy. Energies 2013, 6, 6487-6507.

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