Hares Hill School Sustainability Initiative

The planned Hares Hill Elementary School is scheduled to complete the Design Development by May 16, 2023.

NOW is the time for the public to speak up for a sustainable school design.

All three municipalities served by the PASD: PhoenixvilleEast Pikeland, and Schuylkill Townships have passed Ready for 100 Resolutions. The resolution sets goals to transition to 100% Clean and Renewable Energy for electricity by 2035 and all heat and transportation by 2050.

This new school provides an opportunity for the PASD to help achieve our community’s goals.

Simply stated, to meet the 100% Clean Energy goal, the school can be economically designed and built with the following 4 criteria:

1. MAXIMIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY
2. ALL-ELECTRIC FACILITY 
3. RENEWABLE ENERGY POWERED
4. LOWEST POSSIBLE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The current design and plans do not meet any of these criteria as we have learned at recent meetings with PASD officials. With this new school, PASD needs to take action to address climate change for our children and grandchildren.


Hares Hill ES Design – SUSTAINABILITY REPORT CARD

MAXIMIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY                      GRADE:  INCOMPLETE

COMMENTS – Go beyond minimum standard of “code compliant”
1. State energy efficiency goals and targets.
2. Pursue passive house standards for envelope, glazing and HVAC systems design.
3. Utilize energy modeling to evaluate “maximum energy efficiency” vs. “code compliant” design.
4. Utilize life cycle analysis to evaluate a better building envelope resulting in greater comfort, smaller mechanical equipment, reduced renewable energy production requirements and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
ALL-ELECTRIC FACILITY                                     GRADE:  FAILING

COMMENTS – Get the gas out to reduce greenhouse gas emission
1. Include all-electrical mechanical systems for HVAC, hot water and cooking. Eliminate natural gas.
2. Design renewable energy powered HVAC systems including horizontal loop ground-source geothermal paired with VRF heat pump design to allow for heat recovery and simultaneous heat and cooling without additional energy use. 
3. Include a Life Cycle Cost Analysis showing renewable energy production in relationship to and “Maximize Energy Efficiency and “All Electric Design” criteria
 RENEWABLE ENERGY POWERED                          GRADE:   C-

COMMENTS – Good start, need to work harder to get closer to 100%
1. Design solar PV arrays on all available rooftops.
2. Add ground mounted array(s) on 29 acre property to include pollinator and bird nesting habitats to increase biodiversity on site.
3. Add solar carport canopies / EV charging into design and bid as alternative. Include conduit in base bid from electric utility room for future installation.
4. Include renewable energy horizontal loop ground-source geothermal system.
5. Analyze relationship between “all electric design” and ” renewable energy powered”.
 LOWEST POSSIBLE GREENHOUSE GAS  EMISSIONS   GRADE: INCOMPLETE

COMMENTS – We can reduce our schools carbon footprint!1. Provide greenhouse gas emissions analysis showing all electric vs gas boiler.
2. Include plan for greenhouse gas minimization for materials and construction.

Hares Hill Elementary School Design


Northern Chester County Clean Energy Futures

Representatives from the six Phoenixville Area Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) municipalities, the Phoenixville Green Team and Phoenixville Area Transition have created a new initiative to implement the townships Clean Energy Transition Plans (CETPs) to reduce greenhouse gases. See the draft plans that will be completed in April 2023.

  • East Pikeland Twp.
  • Schuylkill Twp.
  • West Pikeland Twp.
  • West Vincent Twp.