When heat exchangers on the rooftop units at the Murfreesboro School District high school cracked, administrators knew they had to act quickly. Without a budget to completely finance an upgrade, the district would need to rely on state matching funds, which would be lost if the project was not under contract by October. The district sought to move quickly in order to obtain the necessary funding, and to complete the work over Christmas break, so as not to disturb classroom activity.
Murfreesboro School District discussed the upgrade with their mechanical engineer. Knowing that by the time plans were drawn up, bids evaluated and contractors selected, the district would be outside the deadline for matching funds, the mechanical engineer suggested using The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN). The engineer contacted Trane®, a preapproved TCPN vendor, and a site visit was conducted to evaluate the school’s needs. A proposal for equipment and labor was presented by the engineer and accepted by the district prior to the funding deadline.
Leveraging purchasing power
TCPN allows large and small government entities such as schools, counties and non-profits to leverage their purchasing power. All TCPN contracts are competitively bid and evaluated by a government entity and awarded to national vendors in accordance with purchasing procedures mandated by state procurement regulations. Contract awards are based on quality, proven performance, customer satisfaction and pricing. Using TCPN allowed Murfreesboro School District to mitigate costs and ensure they were receiving a good value.
By using TCPN, the Murfreesboro School District was able to significantly reduce the traditional six to eight week vendor selection process, which includes developing specifications, bidding out the project, evaluating proposals, selecting a supplier and negotiating price. The more efficient TCPN vendor selection process freed up district facilities staff, affording them more time to address other school needs.
Reducing vendor selection risk
Selecting a preapproved TCPN vendor allowed the school district to reduce its risk in supplier selection, and increased the engineer’s confidence in achieving quality work that met design specifications. Trane® supplied the equipment, and along with the mechanical engineer and the district facilities manager, selected a local contractor for installation, reinvesting in the Murfreesboro community.
Meeting tight deadlines and comfort needs
To speed installation, thirty Trane Precedent™ rooftop units, selected to replace the aging equipment at the high school, were shipped and staged at the site. The preconfigured units come with factory-installed options to eliminate expensive and time-consuming field installations. When ready to proceed, the crew worked quickly to have all but three units in place within three days, allowing the team to move forward with the electrical, gas, startup and controls setup.
The efficient Precedent™ rooftop units deliver high reliability to keep students and staff comfortable. The units do not have belts and feature direct-drive fan motors, reducing maintenance requirements and operating costs. With MERV 13 filtration, the Precedent units also help to remove the amount of particles in the air to improve indoor air quality and use an ultra-quiet plenum fan to deliver a quieter environment, more conducive to learning.
With no controls system in place at the high school, the district took the opportunity to install a Trane Tracer SC™ building automation system to streamline facility operations to improve efficiency, increase comfort and reduce energy costs. The web-based Tracer SC provides facility managers with flexibility to monitor and control building systems from any PC or mobile device with internet connection. Facility managers use the Tracer SC to perform daily operations such as scheduling, changing set points, programming, troubleshooting, alarm management and data analysis.
Using TCPN as a procurement tool, Murfreesboro School District significantly reduced the time required for the procurement process, allowing the district to meet tight state funding deadlines and complete upgrades during the district’s Christmas break, so as not to disturb classroom activities. Working with Trane, a preapproved TCPN vendor, the district’s engineering contractor replaced the aging equipment with Trane Precedent rooftop units and added a Trane Tracer SC building automation system according to design specifications. The district was able to reinvest in the community by selecting local labor to complete the upgrade project. Pleased with the cost, efficiency and flexibility of the project, Murfreesboro School District plans to use TCPN to complete work at another district school during the summer. Thirty Trane Precedent rooftop units replaced aging equipment at Murfreesboro High School to keep students and staff comfortable.