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  • PRESS RELEASE

    Monarch School's new green building earns EPA's rare DEES designation


    HOUSTON, Texas--July 27, 2009--The EPA's ENERGY STAR program today recognized The Monarch School's new green building as exemplary in design with its rare and coveted "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR" (DEES) designation. The new design of The Monarch School's Chrysalis building achieved a score of 86 out of 100, meaning it ranks among the top 14 percent of buildings in the United States.



    In the coming weeks, the Chrysalis building will become the new campus for The Monarch School, a national leader in therapeutic education for hundreds of children with neurological differences, primarily related to autism.

    "We're excited about our students' future, and about promoting a healthy, sustainable Texas," said Head of School & Founder Dr. Marty Webb. "As we began planning the next 99 years of our students' future, we were happy to find that energy efficient design could be another affordable, practical way for The Monarch School to serve more families, better."

    The Chrysalis building will use 33 percent less energy and carbon than an average, comparable building, which will save the Monarch School more than $170,000 in energy bills over the next 25 years. The 9,000,000 kilowatt-hours saved are the annual equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 1,200 passenger vehicles, or the electrical usage of more than 900 homes.


    Dr. Webb said, “Today's DEES designation confirmed that our early decisions to bring together an experienced "green team" have helped our donors' contributions go farther today and over the coming century." The Monarch School's sustainable design team includes:


    The school also earned a cash incentive of over $2,300 from the CenterPoint Energy SCORE Program, which rewards participants for incorporating energy efficient design into new and existing buildings, specifically for more efficient lighting, HVAC & building envelope systems. The Monarch School was the first private school allowed to join CenterPoint Energy's program.

    The Chrysalis building is expected to help the utility avoid nearly 6,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, & reduce peak demand for electricity significantly, by:

    • more than 12 kW in electric demand saved above ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 requirements for lighting & HVAC, &
    • 30,558 kWh/yr in energy savings, roughly equivalent to the electricity used by three average homes in Houston

    The efficient building design will also complement The Monarch School’s ongoing sustainable operations strategies of conservation, energy efficiency, hybrid transportation & green power. For example, the Monarch School's two existing campuses have approached a zero carbon footprint by purchasing 100 percent green power for the past couple of years.

    "With green power prices at six to 10-year lows, our little nonprofit has found it quite economical and practical today to approach carbon neutrality and strive with others to create a healthy, sustainable Texas," said Dr. Webb. "While market research, case studies and anecdotes have confirmed a zero to three percent premium for the design of green schools and green buildings over the past decade, this DEES designation confirms that our building's energy savings alone may yield the equivalent of nearly a 14 percent off coupon on our design professionals' fees. That's a healthy value."



    About The Monarch School

    Founded in 1997 by Dr. Marty Webb, The Monarch School is now one of the nation's leading schools that provides an innovative, therapeutic education for children ages 3 to 25 years old with neurological differences, including learning disability, attention deficit disorder, Autism, Tourette's Syndrome, Asperger's Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder & Dyslexia. The school's unique blend of psychology & education provides a highly individualized program to meet the emotional, social & academic needs of each child. Classes are small, staffed by highly trained teachers & psychology support staff.


    About Jackson & Ryan Architects

    Since 1986, Jackson & Ryan Architects has provided architectural services for a variety of private & public sector clients, both nationally & locally. The firm's portfolio includes work that is widely varied in type, style, scope & increasingly sustainable. For example, completed projects include Looscan Neighborhood Library, the Children's Museum of Houston, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, renovation & exhibit reinstallation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Houston SPCA, & Reckling Park baseball stadium for Rice University.


    About the EPA's "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR" designation

    Created in 2004, the EPA's "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR" designation is one of two prominent methods to distinguish the building developers', owners' & design teams' commitment to energy-efficient design. (The other corollary method is certification under the US Green Building Council's LEED for New Construction or LEED for Core & Shell Rating Systems.) Architects of Record can submit their projects' DEES application simply by:

    • Using the online Target Finder tool to rate the expected Design Energy Use of the Project, & generating a Statement of Energy Design Intent (SEDI)
    • Achieving a Rating of 75 or Higher out of 100, on a scale from 1 to 100, &
    • Mailing the completed Application Form & SEDI to the EPA.


    About Momentum Bay

    Momentum Bay, established in 2002, is a Texas-based comprehensive “green” management consulting firm. The firm's sustainability & business experts help schools & other organizations go green profitably & practically by:

    • developing strategic plans,
    • executing specific projects,
    • helping others to discern green facts from fads & fiction, as well as
    • equipping & inspiring teams to do these same functions in-house.

    Similarly, Momentum Bay has helped The Monarch School make valuable connections with corporations, foundations, recognition programs, & even vendors, both in the Houston area & around the country. Furthermore, Momentum Bay's GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS helped The Monarch School save substantially on 100% green power relative to other electricity brokers' bids, while affordably offsetting almost all scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions at the school's former campuses & new campus.

    >> To contact Momentum Bay's consultants regarding your organization's upcoming green building design project, please email sustainability@momentumbay.com


    Press Contacts:

    Momentum Bay Associates, LP
    Email: press [at] momentumbay [dot] com
    Tel: (281) 451-3841
    Fax: (832) 553-7800

    The Monarch School
    Email: info [at] monarchschool [dot] org
    Tel: (713) 479-0800

    Jackson & Ryan Architects
    Email: jra [at] jacksonryan [dot] com
    Tel: (713) 526-5436
    Fax: (713) 526-4241