Bullitt County Public Schools

Summary

In alignment with its mission to create and maintain a positive learning environment, when its HVAC systems were in need of replacement, the school turned to Trane for solutions to meet its comfort and energy saving objectives.

Challenge

In the face of a challenging economy and limited budgets, three of the Bullitt County Public School District’s elementary schools and one middle school faced imminent HVAC system failures. Adding to this urgent problem were skyrocketing energy costs, unreliable equipment, comfort complaints and poor air quality throughout many of the school district’s twenty-four education buildings. With these issues affecting nearly 13,000 students across 1.9 million square feet of space, the pressing need for a facilities upgrade was clear.

Solution

Bullitt County Public Schools partnered with Trane on their facilities upgrade project. To begin the project, a single point of responsibility was established through Trane. The project included a complete HVAC retrofit in four schools, lighting retrofits throughout the district, installation of a Trane Tracer Summit® building automation system (BAS), Trane Intelligent Services Active Monitoring and a twenty-year performance contract. The renovations were completed without any disruption to classroom activities.

Reducing energy use and operating costs
Bullitt County Public Schools’ energy management program, Tracer Summit BAS and the Trane Intelligent Services (TIS) program provided results in cost savings for the district. TIS is a state-of- the-art, intelligent, information gathering solution that provides both Bullitt County School District and the local Trane office with the ability to monitor, assess and react to pertinent energy issues within the district. Monthly utility usage is reviewed, energy conservation opportunities are identified and areas for possible energy-efficient equipment upgrades are determined. To reduce operating costs, the district’s walk-in coolers and freezers are also monitored. Rather than visiting the schools on weekends to check temperatures, set points and alarms, district personnel can pull up a single dashboard page on the web to review the information. With TIS Active Monitoring, technicians are dispatched to answer critical alarms after hours and on weekends and holidays.

Maintaining efficiency and performance
A Trane Service Agreement helps ensure system performance. The agreement allows the school to take a proactive approach, with factory-authorized service technicians performing systematic, scheduled maintenance to increase the reliability and longevity of the newly installed systems. With fewer ad hoc service calls, downtime and maintenance costs are also reduced.

Results

With improved occupant comfort anticipated to enhance student performance and the realization of significant energy savings, the results of the project exceeded the school district’s expectations. Andrea Rock, energy manager for Bullitt County Public Schools said, “Since we started our energy management program, we have increased our square footage, but have decreased our energy use by 13 percent. It’s been amazing for a school district our size.” As a result of the new energy-efficient HVAC systems, lighting upgrades and implementation of the energy management system, Bullitt County Public Schools has received eight ENERGY STAR® awards. To qualify as an ENERGY STAR building, energy performance must be in the top 25 percent of similar existing buildings, thermal comfort and indoor air quality must meet American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards, and illuminance levels must be in accordance with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) guidelines. "The key to energy savings has been hiring energy and construction managers to make sure our construction and technologies are compatible," said Gary Wooldridge, chairman of the Bullitt County School Board. "Another key is having a wide range of expertise. Trane provided that by looking at the lighting, heating, cooling, controls and renovations we did. That was a key element to having a successful energy management program." Keith Davis, superintendent of Bullitt County Public Schools stated, “Performance contracting has been a godsend. The equipment is up-to-date, efficient and modern. We can control each classroom through Trane Tracer Summit®. If a teacher complains about a room being too hot, we can now take a look at that room and assess the situation." "Money equals teachers, and we saved about $800,000 over the last four or five years in energy costs, which goes right back to the teachers. That’s sixteen new teachers during that time period," said Davis.

About Bullitt County Public Schools

Bullitt County Public Schools is one of Kentucky’s ten largest districts. Its thirteen elementary, six middle, four high schools, and one Area Technology Center provide educational services to nearly 13,000 students. In alignment with its mission to create and maintain a positive learning environment, when its HVAC systems were in need of replacement, the school turned to Trane for solutions to meet its comfort and energy saving objectives.

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