BPS Awarded ENERGY STAR Certification By EPA For High-Performing, Cost-Effective Facilities
By Jennifer Wolfinger, BPS // April 11, 2018
Facilities use 35 percent less energy than typical buildings
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools’ high-performing, cost-effective facilities are getting recognition from industry leaders and increasing efficiency.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the ENERGY STAR certification to 32 of the district’s buildings based on performance in 2017.
Commercial buildings that earn the certification perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. They use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA began awarding the ENERGY STAR certification in 1999. Brevard Public Schools became involved with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program in 2006. The district improves its energy performance to ENERGY STAR levels by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings.
“Buildings that meet the ENERGY STAR certification requirements meet strict energy performance standards set by the EPA,” said Bruce Lindsay, manager of energy and resource conservation.
“Our own ENERGY STAR certified buildings have helped Brevard Public Schools save money and protect our environment with energy-efficient practices.”
The district is also replacing existing lighting with LED lighting. The change will increase energy efficiency by 50 percent and reduce air conditioning loads. It will also reduce maintenance and energy costs, and provide better light quality. By modernizing facility lighting, BPS will save $500,000 or more a year.
The effort, which began in March, is broken up in two phases and will take approximately five years to finish. The first phase will replace more than 250,000 4-foot T8 florescent lamps. Phase 2 will focus on high bay fixtures in gyms and cafeterias, and outside lighting, and should start this summer.
Brevard Public Schools plans to re-use most of the old T8 lamps, making them available for free to schools that have not been scheduled for LEDs. The district will ultimately auction the used T8 lamps, keeping them out of a landfill.
Lindsay said: “LED lighting technology has come a long way. Performance has improved, reliability is great and costs have dropped. The payback is incredibly short and the timing is right to invest. Best of all, the custodians are so excited about the long life (70,000 hours). They will never need to change light bulbs again in their careers.”
Furthermore, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) took notice of the district’s efficient facilities. The two groups jointly sponsored and participated in a tour highlighting some of BPS’ facility renewal projects.
They checked-out the new chillers and the central energy plant designed for Southwest Middle and Turner Elementary schools. The district was able to save time and money by combining the schools’ chillers, installing plastic pipe for the chilled water loop and using directional digging to avoid trenching. The groups also visited Bayside High where they learned about the school’s new chillers, measures to reduce outside air, refurbished ice storage and building-envelope improvements.
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