Wilde Lake Middle School

Howard County, MD

Wilde Lake Middle School is Maryland’s first net-zero-energy (NZE) school and, currently, the most energy-efficient school of its size in the nation. A NZE school is defined as a building that produces more energy on site than the amount of energy the building consumes over the course of one year. This was accomplished by the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels located on the roof and site.  This project demonstrates that net-zero-energy goals are achievable for large projects with strict budgets.

Howard County Public School System challenged the A/E team to transform their existing middle school prototype design into a NZE building. Per HCPSS’s agreement with Maryland Energy Administration, which provided grant monies to this NZE project, the school was required to use less than 25 kBTU per square foot and therefore reduce energy consumption by over 60%.

Users of the building can have a huge impact on a NZE building, if they are not on board with the energy saving goals. All stakeholders were engaged in the design process from the beginning. School staff, community members, administrators and designers worked together to evaluate every aspect of the school’s design to ensure an effective end product. The WLMS community has embraced this new building and contributed to the success of this project.

The design and construction of this new middle school has achieved a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ‘Platinum’ designation. Overall reduction in energy consumption, combined with on-site renewable energy production, proved a winning strategy.

Owner: Howard County Public School System
Type of Project: New Net-Zero LEED ‘Platinum’ School
Capacity: 752 students
Completion Date: August 2017
Site Area: 15 Acres
Building Area: 106,221 gsf
Budget Cost: $35,000,000
Construction Manager: Oak Contracting