Category Archives: Green Building

Brookside School Redevelopment Project Community Input Meeting: Your Input Is Needed to Make this a Green Project

The Brighton Central School District is proposing to redevelop the Brookside School Complex as a K-2 school. The redevelopment is contemplating a two-story section of the building that would house classrooms for either first or second grade on the second floor. Due to community input about the need to make this redevelopment a green building, the district is beginning to consider green building design elements for this project. More community input will be needed to make this priority a reality. ColorBrightonGreen has prepared a letter to the School District asking that the redevelopment include a green design to reduce the building’s carbon footprint and to keep school operation costs low. But the support of school district taxpayers is needed. Please consider attending the community input meeting or submitting your support of green building planning to the School District in writing. Our letter to the school district is available on our website.

  • When: Monday, February 29, 2016 at 1:30 PM and 7:00 PM
  • Where: Brighton School District Administrative Building Board Room, 2035 Monroe Avenue, Brighton
  • More info: Brighton Central School District Website

Opportunity to Support a Green Brookside School Development Project

ColorBrightonGreen supports a Green Redevelopment Project at the Brighton Central School District’s Brookside School.  The letter that ColorBrightonGreen is sending is included below.  If you live in the Brighton Central School District and think it is important that the building be redeveloped using methods that reduce energy usage and long term operational costs, you may want to copy and send this letter or your own letter to the Brighton Central School District as soon as possible.

Dear Superintendent McGowan, and Brighton Board of Education:

The Brookside Redevelopment Project is an exciting opportunity to create a healthier and safer space in which our children can learn, while also saving taxpayer money.

As a town, Brighton has committed to being a Climate Smart Community, and we must all act swiftly to ensure the future of our community by doing all we can to provide a safe and sustaining environment in which our children can thrive.

Therefore, the ideal school design must incorporate passive heating and cooling, and utilize green building techniques, in order to ensure: 

  • Healthier air that will support learning: Passive heating and cooling dramatically improves indoor air quality and minimizes the use of toxic building materials that off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Lower operating costs of the school: Low energy needs will save taxpayer money
  • A reduction of our carbon footprint:  Climate Change is a serious concern for the future of our children, and its our duty to protect them. A green redevelopment project will help our town to achieve its Climate Smart Community promise by reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions through minimizing the building’s energy consumption.

As was reported in the NYS Energy plan, on-site combustion (primarily for heating homes and buildings) accounts for 35% of NYS fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions. A “Passive House School” is so well insulated that energy demands for heating and cooling are reduced by 75% compared to a conventionally constructed building. Therefore, a Passive House School is a fiscally smart investment, and also the right choice for safeguarding the future of our children and demonstrating our commitment to help our community fight climate instability.

While there are many sustainable design features we would like to see incorporated in any new building, the commitment to a passive building is the top priority. Specifically, we respectfully request the Board of Education to:

  1. Direct the district architects to incorporate a Passive House approach where energy load goals would be 4.75Btu/sf/year for heating and cooling and air tightness goal would be .6 air changes/hour @50 Pa.
  2. Include the annual energy costs of any building in the planning and decision-making process
  3. Use the annual energy savings from a passive house school to pay down the construction loan

Our children need our steadfast commitment to their well-being now and in the future, and we do not have the luxury of time to waste before taking full responsibility to ensure the best future for them that we can possibly afford. I know that you are just as concerned to serve the best interests of our community as I am. Thank you in advance for your support.


All Energy-Saving Lightbulbs are Not Equal: Check your Lumens and Watts!

Imagine if you went to the grocery store and asked for a ‘dozen’ eggs and you were given 11. A little further down the aisle you reached for a ‘dozen’ dinner rolls and you came away with 13. Don’t forget the ‘dozen’ rolls of toilet paper you bought; it has a full 10 rolls in it.  It turns out that the use of the word ‘dozen’ doesn’t mean the same from one object to another–it means “sort of 12”.

This example is exactly what we have been doing with lightbulbs for decades. The standard “60-Watt” light bulb isn’t the same as the next ‘standard’ 60-Watt light bulb. This hasn’t meant too much to the average person except when we’ve noticed that the new bulb “doesn’t seem as bright” as the 3 year old bulb that’s right next to it. That’s because the new bulb isn’t providing the same amount of lumens, but it is still using 60 Watts of electricity.  It’s because the amount of light, or lumens, they give off has nothing to do with the amount of electricity, or watts, they use. In general, the average “60 Watt” light bulb should provide roughly 800-810 lumens.  However the number of lumens listed on light bulb packages range from 620 to 825 lumens.

Now,  jump forward to 2015 where everyone is encouraged to switch to CFL’s or LED’s to reduce their energy usage.  Many light bulb packages say “equivalent to 60-Watt bulb”. That’s great, but which “60-Watt” bulb are they referring to–the one providing a dim 620 lumens, or the one providing a bright 825 lumens?

Be sure to check out the side of the box… and let the lumens light your way.

Image 620Image 750 Image 825a

Green Building Materials/Specifications