Installing low-flow fixtures and valves helped reduce water and sewer costs, while recommissioning the district’s existing energy management system (EMS) helped ensure proper operation and control. By upgrading pneumatic equipment controls and stand-alone thermostats to digital technologies and integrating them into the EMS, the district was able to implement energy-saving strategies such as demand control ventilation.
Finally, Trane also introduced Powhatan County Public Schools to software that gives administrators insights into their buildings’ performance and energy use, streamlining workflow, managing maintenance, and reducing energy spend. The software allows easy scheduling of rooms for classes and other events and allows teachers to make simple temperature adjustments on their laptops.
Seamless installation and ongoing impact
Trane was able to complete the scope of work during evening hours, on weekends, and over the summer, ensuring that the project never interfered with classroom instruction and was completed before the new building opened its doors, an important timing goal set by the district.
The upgrades improved indoor air quality and comfort while reducing energy costs by 20 percent and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.3 million pounds of CO2. More comfortable, brighter rooms improved the academic environment and community morale. Students and staff responded with enthusiasm; the district reports that test scores improved following the upgrades.
“Numerous studies have clearly shown that the learning environment within a school plays a significant role in student achievement,” says former PCPS Superintendent Eric Jones, who led the district through the upgrades. “For this reason alone, our performance contracting project with Trane was a huge success. Add to this the fact that we are paying for these upgrades and new equipment through energy savings, and it is easy to see why I believe this is one of the best projects Powhatan County Public Schools has ever completed.”