April 21, 2019
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Highest Energy Efficiency Certifications awarded to Maine Coast Waldorf School’s new high school building

Community Author: Deeda Burgess
Post Date:
Kevin Morris | KevinMorris
Kevin Morris | KevinMorris
Maine Coast Waldorf School Exterior of new High School buidling

FREEPORT — Efficiency Maine will award Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport a plaque designating their new net zero high school as a certified Maine Advanced Building at 8 a.m. Friday, March 30. To achieve Maine Advanced Building certification, a building has been verified to meet the New Buildings Institute’s Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide at the tier two level. Maine Coast Waldorf School’s high school building far exceeds many of those requirements.

In addition, the school recently received certification from Passive House Institute of United States (PHIUS), which is the highest voluntary energy efficiency standard in the world. The high school, designed by the architectural firm BRIBURN of Portland, is the only passive house high school in the United States certified through PHIUS. At the event, BRIBURN will present a Passive House Certified building plaque from PHIUS.

The rigorous standards for Maine Advance Building and PHIUS+ 2015 Passive House certifications demonstrate Maine Coast Waldorf School’s deep commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. Some of the high school’s design features that led to the certifications are:

  • highly insulated 12-20” thick walls, 16-24” thick roofs, 4” thick slab insulation
  • continuous, tight air-sealing and precise detailing
  • sophisticated Swiss building membranes and tapes to control the ingress of moisture from the outside & to prevent interior moisture from migrating into exterior walls in the winter
  • triple-glazed windows and exterior doors from Lithuania and Belgium respectively
  • southern orientation of the building for maximum solar gain
  • window openings strategically located to capitalize on solar heat gain in the winter and deep southern overhangs to help prevent overheating during warmer months
  • interior LED lighting tied to “occupancy sensors”
  • air source heat pumps provide very efficient heating and cooling. (Internal heat gains from people, computers, lighting, and equipment provide significant heating in the winter & heat pumps make up the difference if needed.)
  • Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) use the exhausted air to precondition the incoming fresh air to minimize energy loss
  • roof mounted solar panel array is sized to produce at least as much electricity as the building is projected to use

Beautiful, thoughtfully designed buildings support Maine Coast Waldorf School’s mission and the new high school embodies the school’s dedication to environmental stewardship.


Founded in 1984, Maine Coast Waldorf School serves some 270 students from early childhood through high school. The mission of Maine Coast Waldorf School is to awaken the highest potential in every student by fostering clarity of thought, warmth of heart, and strength of resolve to make a difference in the world. While independent, the school is part of a worldwide Waldorf school movement that encompasses more than 1,100 schools in more than 80 countries. Maine Coast Waldorf School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).To learn more please visit MaineCoastWaldorf.org or call 207.865.3900, Ext.103.