First Net Zero School in Massachusetts is Pillar in Energy Efficiency

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Cambridge Massachusetts has outlined a framework to be an emission neutral city by 2050. The Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan is a 25-year plan which envisions energy-efficient upgrades, renewable energy production and potentially the purchase of carbon offsets and credits.

First Net Zero School in Massachusetts Pillar in Energy Efficiency

On their way to meeting this goal, the city recently unveiled the first net-zero emissions school in Massachusetts and the largest net-zero emissions building in the state: King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School campus. The campus includes an elementary school and middle school, school district offices, a public library branch, a community swimming pool, and preschool and after-school programs. The buildings are the first project under the Net-Zero Cambridge Plan and account for 273,000 sq. ft. and sit on four acres.



Eemax installed 150 LavAdvantage tankless electric water heaters, 10 Three Phase units and three SafeAdvantage units throughout the campus. Eemax products support specifications ranging from 1.8 kW to 150 kW, and flow rates from 0.2 GPM to 30 GPM. They installed the following on this campus:


  • LavAdvantage: 150 units’ support handwashing in every classroom and restroom. They feature active energy management, power modulating controls, and a small, compact design also suitable for ADA compliant facilities. LavAdvantage provides safe, hot water on demand, while reducing energy and water waste.
  • SafeAdvantage: 3 units provide tepid water for eye and facewash safety equipment in school laboratories. In schools, this tankless electric water heater can be found in chemistry and biology labs where an eyewash, facewash, and/or drench shower is required. SafeAdvantage features Parabolic Heat Design technology and is designed for low duty cycle applications where precise temperature control and low pressure drop are required.
  • Three Phase: 10 units provide endless hot water to support janitorial services throughout the campus. Three Phase water heaters can support capabilities up to 5 GPM and deliver a temperature range from ambient to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Each unit is thermostatically controlled, and features Self-Modulating Technology, which provides precise outlet temperatures.

“This new LEED Platinum facility and complex proves Massachusetts’ unwavering commitment to ensuring the Cambridge community will have a clean and green facility for their students as well as the neighboring families,” said Jens Bolleyer, vice president & general manager, Eemax. “We are proud to be a sponsor, as well as a solution, supporting zero emission goals and providing safe and consistent hot water with our LavAdvantage and SafeAdvantage products.”

solar panels, net zero building, LavAdvantage tankless, King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School

Roof-mounted PV array will generate an estimated 60% of energy on site.

Eemax tankless electric water heaters only consume energy when the water is turned on, and there is no water or energy waste waiting for hot water to reach the faucet. Another benefit of tankless electric water heating at the point-of-use is the elimination of recirculation loops and the energy waste (standby heat loss) generating 24/7 hot water that exists with traditional commercial boiler systems. In addition, as only one water line is necessary, a significant savings in material and labor can be realized during the construction phase. Tankless electric water heating is a zero-greenhouse gas emission solution. No venting is required as no fossil fuels are burned.

Project Details

  • Units: This campus includes a middle school, an elementary school, a public library, and the administration offices for the school district
  • Square Footage:  273,000
  • Type of Construction:  New
  • Built for LEED v4 Schools Gold certifications
  • Eemax tankless electric water heaters throughout the school and complex
  • Roof-mounted PV array will generate an estimated 60% of energy on site
  • Geothermal heat pump system provides radiant heating and cooling
  • Rainwater reclamation system on site

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