Advanced Authentic Research

Reduction of Energy Usage in the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Center by Teddie S.

Summary

When thinking of helping the environment we jump to the big things, such as solar panels and electric vehicles which are effective but expensive means to help the environment. People often believe that cars are the worst source of greenhouse gas pollution when it’s the big commercial buildings that are the number one cause of pollution. There admissions come from heating/air conditioning and wired lighting and also, technology. The most effective way to help cut down energy consumption is to limit these usages in any way possible, and finding effective ways to cut down energy consumption in a large building near you, can potentially make a big difference. In this project we will be focusing on the creating a baseline for consumption of energy in the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Center. Looking at the expenses of each piece of technology, we will test different variations to cut down usage. We will start by auditing the building to get inventory, than tracking those behaviors to see what people are leaving on, and what opportunities for reduction exist. By testing different methods, we can quantify the data by comparing the utility bills before and after our tested variations. Using the Media Arts Center as a test subject is one way of figuring out the most effective ways to conserve energy, once we figure this out we can replicate the process in different areas of the school; and cut down energy usage at Palo Alto High School as a whole.